Book design: How to Take Photos that Move Houses

A great book that we designed last year is Ed Wolkis’ How to Take Photos That Move Houses. This full color book represents an example of the complex challenges in book design. Ceci is going to have a very in-depth post on the book design issues for this title. Meanwhile, head over to the book’s website and take a look at some sample pages from the book.

BTW, this book is not just for real estate professionals. It’s a fantastic book on photography for anyone.

By |September 30th, 2009|Categories: Book Design|Tags: , |Comments Off on Book design: How to Take Photos that Move Houses

FINAL COVER for THE IMPERFECT ENJOYMENT

After very few changes we arrived to the final design for the full cover!

*The ornament on the side of this post is from the font Zapf Dingbats designed in 1977 by Hermann Zapf.

By |October 8th, 2008|Categories: Book Design|Tags: , , |3 Comments

THE (im)PERFECT ENJOYMENT of BOOK DESIGN

AS A BOOK DESIGNER, I BELIEVE I HAVE THE BEST JOB ON EARTH. I love books. I enjoy reading. I love the feeling of the images coming out of my mind while reading a book that I will design. I love the process of the words entering the thought stream, turning on the machine and getting the book translated into images, colors, letterforms.

A few weeks ago we got the manuscript to design the book cover & page layout of The Imperfect Enjoyment: A Bachelor’s Memoir by Dewan W. Gibson. That title lends itself to so many design possibilities.

I printed the manuscript and after non-stop reading & laughing for hours at Dewan’s adventures, I came up with a cover. I actually came up with several more but in the end Dewan chose that first one. Here you see the cover and the spine:

The design of the book cover

The thought that led to the cover was ‘what is an imperfection?‘: maybe something that looks perfect but it is not. At a glance, getting “I’m perfect” instead of “imperfect” is itself an imperfection.

The idea of something sexual behind the title relates to the book and is kind of like a ‘peep show’ as a metaphor for the memoir: the people by reading it are ‘peeping’ into the author’s life.

Last but not least, the typography: I chose Emigre’s Brothers because it has that reminiscence of typical college fonts (where a lot of the action takes place in the book) but it is quite more daring & works great to give that feel of excess that I was looking for.

*The word-logo on the side of this post is from the font Brothers Word Logos by Emigre

By |September 30th, 2008|Categories: Book Design|Tags: , , , |11 Comments

THE CASE of the STOLEN PORTFOLIO

We were recently notified by someone that about a dozen of our book cover designs were being used by a book cover design firm in India. That was surprising news to us. I quickly contacted the company in India and demanded an explanation.

The Indian company promptly responded that the designs were provided to them by one of their designers. The manager of the company apologized, removed our book cover designs from their portfolio, and stated that the designer would be “punished”. Considering their quick response to this matter and their explanation I’ve decided not to link to that company or print their name in this post. Should I?

An odd aspect to this situation is that the firm didn’t include the stolen designs directly in their online portfolio but only in an e-mail to potential clients and labeled the designs as their extended portfolio. So, if someone had not notified us by e-mail then we would have never learned about this incident. I’m trying to have good faith in believing that the Indian firm actually did remove the cover designs and not just changed the location to a URL I do not know about.

Ultimately, it’s quite foolish for a designer to use another designer’s portfolio. What happens when the design thief cannot deliver the same quality of designs as presented in the portfolio?

It’s very common for book cover designers to be influenced by the covers of other designers. It’s something else to blatantly use another’s portfolio as one’s own.

By |December 19th, 2007|Categories: Book Design|Tags: , , |4 Comments

WEBSITE LAUNCH for ALE FIRSZT, illustrator

sorodesign recently completed the Web site for Argentine illustrator Alejandro Firszt. The design reflects Ale’s desire for a clean, minimalist layout.

Ale Firszt Illustrator

Authors and publishers interested in contracting with an illustrator should take a moment to examine Ale’s portfolio. He is an exceptional illustrator. Here are a couple of examples of his works:

By |December 13th, 2007|Categories: author websites|Tags: , , , |3 Comments

DESIGNING BOOK COVERS

We’ve been busy designing book covers the past few months. The online portfolio has been updated and we’ve also created a PDF portfolio for download.


book cover designs

By |November 20th, 2007|Categories: Book Design|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

NEW DESIGNS for BORGES

While maintaining a cohesive style across this series, we wanted to create three covers that each utilized a different aspect that is central to the writings of Borges: time, tigers, mirrors.

Collected Fictions by Borges


Collected Fiction Borges

Selected Poems by Borges


Selected poems Borges

Selected Non-Fictions by Borges


Selected non-fictions Borges

By |April 25th, 2007|Categories: Book Design|Tags: , , |Comments Off on NEW DESIGNS for BORGES