five workflow stumbling blocks and how to avoid them

This is an update to a post originally published in March, 2010. Book design and production is a complicated process with a lot of moving parts: text and graphics, multiple people, as well as a fair share of technology gremlins. Some glitches are bound to arise, but many are predictable and thus can be avoided—or [...]

7-frank nuovo

Design in its simplest form is the activity of creating solutions. Frank Nuovo quoted in A Whole New Mind by Dan Pink

6-sidney poitier

I don’t think we tell our stories enough and I think that it is absolutely essential that we do…When we die, we are going to be taking with us to the grave an enormous amount of information, experience, points of view, attitudes…We should leave some of those parts of ourselves behind. Sidney Poitier

10 books to inspire you to make art

When I finish a long project I don’t actually collapse but rather wander around in a state of unfocused activity. When that happened yesterday I decided to settle down and read. Not knowing exactly what I wanted to read, I pulled a slew of books off my bookshelves. And because I love sorting things into [...]

it’s messy, this creative process

Since Thanksgiving, I’ve been working on a personal book project that I’m referring to as my 2011 Inspiration Book. Over the years I have developed pages of material based on various strategic planning systems: year end summaries, goal setting, etc. They have always been written as a business document in Word, printed out on 8.5×11-inch [...]

featured book 3-500 handmade books

5-Patti Smith

There is nothing more beautiful in our material world than the book. Patti Smith in accepting a 2011 National Book Award  for  Just Kids: A Memoir

ode to book-as-object

I recently completed a book design project: the life story of a colleague’s mother. [Let’s call her Miriam.] The manuscript had been in process for many months; Miriam had seen it on numerous occasions. As the book design and layout progressed, I created .pdf files as review copies for my colleague. Some of these were [...]

personal+history: ted grant and the art of observation

When you write the history of Canada in the 60s, it will be written with Ted Grant photographs. — Joan Schwartz of Queen’s’ University. I was recently at a screening of The Art of Observation, a documentary on the life and work of Ted Grant, known at the father of Canadian photojournalism.  It was written, [...]

how “real” women make books

This is how books have been made since the time of Gutenberg in the mid-15th century. And, despite the changing equipment to execute the various steps, the same tasks need to be accomplished: text and images transferred in some way to the page, signatures bound and trimmed, covers attached. This is why I consider e-books [...]