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How to Relax

About the Project

This project was commissioned as a gift for a dear friend of the client. 

From the book’s description: How to Relax is part of The Mindfulness Essentials series of how-to titles by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, introducing beginners and reminding seasoned practitioners of the essentials of mindfulness practice. Pocket-sized, with original two color illustrations by Jason DeAntonis, How to Relax shows how critical it is to regularly interrupt the hub-bub and routine of our lives to stop, relax mindfully, and recharge.

Thich Nhat Hanh says that when we relax, we become calm water, and we will reflect reality as it is. If we’re not calm, the image we reflect will be distorted. When the image is distorted by our minds, it’s not the reality, and it causes lots of suffering.” Relaxation is essential for accessing the tranquility and joy that lead to increased personal well-being. With sections on healing, relief from nonstop thinking, transforming unpleasant sounds, solitude, being peace, and more,How to Relax includes meditations you can do to help you achieve the benefits of relaxation no matter where you are.

Scientific studies indicate that meditation contributes tremendously to well-being, general health, and longevity. How to Relax is a unique gift for those who want a simple guide to achieving deep relaxation, controlling stress, and renewing mental freshness and clarity, appropriate for those practicing in any spiritual tradition, whether seasoned practitioners or new to meditations.



To begin this design, I started with color and materials first. The recipient’s favorite color is red, so I chose a fine Morocco from Russels Leather, considered to be some of the best leather available in the bookbinding world. 

With a little effort on Adobe Photoshop, I  quickly worked out a simple design that was both clear and effective. The Hammock is often associated with relaxation and I feel it worked well for the project at hand. 

With such a small spine to work with, I decided that a verticle display would be best for the title and author panels. While it requires a few more steps to achieve, it is no less beautiful when executed correctly.


The result was a very nice, compact book that is both beautiful and easy to access. Able to be carried in a bag or purse, this book will prove to be a lovely companion during times that require a bit of meditation or thoughtfulness to get through. I’m very happy with how this turned out and the client was, too! In fact, the client decided to give the gift in my bindery when the project was completed. They both came together and I gave them a quick tour. It was truly lovely to be a part of, as I normally just deliver the finished product and start on my next project.

We are excited to begin working with you. Boston Harbor Bookbindery is experienced in designing custom, one-of-a-kind books for each client.

Whether you’d like to restore a family heirloom, re-bind a personal favorite, or print a book from scratch; we have just what you need to make your dreams a reality.


Relaxtion Book


Full leather binding | Rebinding | Gold stamping