When Light is Put Away

Editorial & print design 
Craft & bookbinding

Create a piece of print design which reconnects people to the natural night and darkness.

The long-held balance between night and day is being lost, along with the privacy and time for rest or contemplation the darkness allows. Nights are getting lighter, artificially illuminated from the ground. Until a century ago skies were very dark and everyone could look up and see a magnificent starry night sky. But now even the places we consider wild are invaded by light, with only the brightest stars remaining readily visible. An unpolluted night sky is now one of rarest wilds and wonders of the natural world.

When Light is put away’ is a poetry anthology which takes the reader on a chronological journey through the light at night, or often the absence of. From sunset to sunrise, through dusk, twilight, midnight and dawn, there is an ever-changing gradient of light and colours. The aim is that the reader will be more appreciative and attentive to the night and the nuances of darkness. The publication takes its name from a line in one of Emily Dickinson's poems which is featured in the anthology.
The spreads for the nineteen collected poems are structured around a central horizontal line representing the horizon by the line “Sky and sea, horizon-hinged” by Sylvia Plath. The passing of time and progression through the book is marked by the movement of the sun, symbolised by soft, hazy circles, as if a light spot on the page.

French-folds between each of the poems are printed with gradient colours which take inspiration from the corresponding poem, telling the story of the journey through the night through colour of the sky and the environment.

The introductory pages before the poems are minimally illustrated with a hazy circle moving down as you turn each page, representing the setting of the sun; “And the juggler of day is gone!”. The the final pages of the book show the sun rising again as the light returns and another day begins.
Process of hand cropping and binding the book. Gold-coloured thread was chosen to bind it as I felt it to be the most fitting to the publication's theme; a thread of light running through the book.