The Man Who Designed Books

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The Man Who Designed Books

A TYPEFLOW update—and the clients I’m looking for

Books come from authors. Directories come from databases. Both have their quirks. Databases drink less.

I wasn’t sure whether talking about directories here would make me seem less like a book person, but the truth is, I love both. For either, my job comes down to transformation: A novel is transformed from an ugly, unhelpful Word file into something like fine art; a directory is blobs of raw data refined into attractive, functional listings.

Typeflow does both. Here are some examples:

(Click to see a bigger version that you can zoom in on.)

Directory and book interiors

A little about each:

Fancy Food Show Directory
Client: Specialty Food Association

That Fancy Food Show directory underwent a minor facelift and major database change at the same time, but the client was smart; we did a test run months before the next production cycle. So when it was time to create the directory for the Summer 2013 show at the Javits Center, everyone could be confident that the production design end of things would go just as smoothly as always–which it did. This is one of two repeating show directories for which I’ve been responsible for both the database import system and the production design, the other being for the Fashion Footwear Association of New York. (Can’t show that one, unfortunately.)

The Griffin Series
Client: Philip Williams
Genre: Science fiction
Formats: Print and ebooks

In addition to making directories, lots of ongoing work for Scholastic Books (if you have kids, or were one, you’ve owned some of these), writing an educational module about Nook Quality Assurance, and doing a bunch of small-press novels and nonfiction (which I like a lot), I’ve been designing a new science fiction series for Philip Williams, an independent author. The first in the series was released on September 1, with the rest coming soon.

I really enjoy designing a fiction series. For this one, I brought in Elisabeth Alba, whose work I saw in some Scholastic books I typeset, to create the chapter header illustrations.

Clients I’m actively looking for in 2013/2014:

  • Small presses and packagers who wish they had a production department
  • Large publishers who need typesetting or ebook production on a contract basis
  • Trade associations that need their directories or magazines put together quickly and accurately
  • Anyone who does manuals, directories, listings, other long documents. What do you need?

Is that you? Let’s talk.

I’d like to show you more than just these two jobs, but I can’t fit it all into one blog entry, and I’m too busy to write three or four. Other recent stuff: newsletter production, multi-language medical manuals, big mass-market children’s picture books. If you’ve got something, I’d love to hear from you: keith | at | typeflownyc | dot | com.