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 [...]

the bookness of books

My friend and creative collaborator Suzanne Fox and I try to take a few hours off on the last Friday of the month and we inevitably end up at one or another Barnes & Nobles. We walk in, grab a basket, and head in our separate directions with a plan to meet in the café [...]

thinking about [profitable] book design & production

It’s been almost a year since I introduced this blog with my first post What is Book Thinking to orient readers to this site. Here’s what I wrote: … I plan to share what I have learned about how to think about a book project, organize its content [particularly images], design and produce it—and make [...]

bringing order to digital photo collections

In the 170+ years since Louis Daguerre announced the invention of the daguerreotype process for fixing an image on a silver plate, people around the world have developed a workable system of storing their photographic prints and developed film. That system might involve placing the photos in an album or tossing them in a drawer, [...]

typography: a primer

Like book design in general, typography is noticed more in its misapplication than when it is well-chosen and well-set. Typography is far more than just picking a font face and size and getting on with it. It’s an artisan’s craft, particularly suited to those who are mildly to moderately obsessive about the tiniest elements: hanging [...]

information design: an introductory syllabus

“What is the best font to use for my book?” That’s a question I hear frequently from writers who want to design their own books. And it’s not a bad question; it’s just usually raised at the wrong point in the process. Before we can choose a font, we need to determine the kinds of [...]

the creative habit by twyla tharp

While we all have varying degrees of natural talents–athletic, musical, empathic, creative–these by themselves are not enough. In The Creative Habit, Twyla Tharp, shares her working process and the rhythm of her life that cultivated her natural talents as she became one of America’s greatest choreographers. Interesting as both memoir and inspiration, this book is [...]

keith smith books

In my mind Keith A. Smith is professor emeritus when it comes to thinking about books. He’s been making books for over 40 years and writing about them for at least 25. When I researched the links for this post, I was delighted to see that both of these books have been revised and expanded. [...]