Book Design

Visual Design

Overview

About the project

Throughout my career I've had the opportunity to create the designs for book covers, inside spreads, ebooks and white papers. Here is a sampling of some of my favorite book projects.

Date
My role
Visual Designer

The Hummingfish Foundation, founded to promote sustainable community-based tourism, was commissioned to produce a book for the International Conference on Youth, Identity and Nationbuilding in East Timor. My task was to allow the incredible photography and the voices of those interviewed to be at the forefront in telling the story. 

In addition to designing the cover artwork for "Patchwork Someone," a personal memoir penned by a good friend of mine, I created the interior layout for publication as a hardbound book, as well as a Kindle EPUB version. This book was first published in October 2020, and is a fascinating read. For the cover design, I made a list of specific objects throughout the book that have special meaning to the narrative. I turned these into icons and narrowed down the number to include only the most important objects, and used them as an integral part of the cover design. I enjoy creating beautifully balanced designs that reflect the tone of a piece, which is what I was striving for here, but I also love infusing my designs with hidden meaning, in this case for readers to discover the objects on the cover as they journey through this compelling memoir.
Books_Patchwork_inside spreads
Books_Patchwork_Symbol mapping
Books_Patchwork_Bookmarks
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Working at agencies has given me the opportunity to design a number of ebooks and white papers for a B2B audience in the tech/SaaS space, as well as the healthcare industry, delivering content on specific subject matter and upholding the client’s brand throughout each piece. I worked alongside a team of account managers, copywriters and designers, and the biggest value that I brought to these pieces was in establishing a grid layout on a master template, unique to each brand, as well as creating a dynamic table of contents in InDesign that could be updated automatically with each round of edits. These contributions allowed for more efficiency and a layout that was easier to balance and remain pleasing to the eye.
Whitepaper_TechData_layout grid
Whitepaper_Riverbed_layout grid
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While teaching English in China, I befriended M. Dujon Johnson, an American who was pursuing his Ph.D. in East Asian studies. I jumped at the opportunity to design a cover for his book, “Race and Racism in the Chinas: Chinese Racial Attitudes Toward Africans and African-Americans,” which ended up becoming a 2008 NAACP image award nominee. He went on to become the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. in China. One of my hobbies while living in China was scouring local markets for old communist propaganda memorabilia, and I happened upon one that was the perfect image on which to base this book cover design. I used the stylistic inspiration and colors from the poster to build out the design for the cover, while giving space for the image to have an impact.
Books: Race & Racism in the Chinas
Also while living in China, my husband Mike and I worked on a personal project–creating a PDF magazine of our travels and experiences while living abroad–as a takeaway piece for our family and friends back home. The experiences we had while living in China and traveling throughout Asia were some of the most amazing and life-changing adventures of our lives. Through writing, photography and design, we were able to show pieces of life through our eyes as we lived in the Hunan province and traveled to Chengdu, Lhasa, Mt. Everest, Kathmandu and Hong Kong during the summer of 2005.
Magazine_personal project_1
Magazine_personal project_2
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For The Justice Conference Asia (2015), an annual conference that brings together a network of advocates working in social justice around the world, I oversaw the branding and environmental design for the conference, as well as designing the 88-page conference guide. I led the creative team in user research, integrating an informal human-centered design thinking approach to improve the guide year-over-year, in order provide a more useful resource and improve the attendee experience.
Books_JCA_1
Books_JCA_2
Books_JCA_3
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