Monday, June 4, 2012

2012 Student Book Designs

Design student Sarah Hirsch chose to design an entirely modern interpretation of Alice in Wonderland for her book project this year. She felt the classic tale is far more sophisticated than to appeal to just children alone. The photograph on her cover design, of a mature "Alice" is one from fellow photography student, Carmen Daneshmandi.
    For those of you new readers here, I should add I teach an intensive course in book design each Fall quarter as part of our design program's typography curriculum. Each student is faced with the challenge to design and reformat a novel of their choice into a meaningful layout. Working in InDesign, they learn how to build a long document and arrange type on a page using the enduring principles of typography and design required to enable the reader to navigate the text with ease and make their reading experience a rewarding one.
    After six years of teaching this class, I never fail to be impressed with the work and dedication I see from these students. Most of them care passionately about their specific books and they often become a centerpiece of their portfolio. Last week I featured two of the recently announced merit scholarship winners; Jeremy Grant and Sean Loomis. Today I bring you a few more book projects from this year's graduating class. Not all of the student's websites are currently active, but I will link them in coming days as soon as they go live.  

Jillian Poppe playfully takes on Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle. Everything about her version of this book makes me smile. It's not heavy-handed or overly designed, but is very respectful to the reader. 

Brendan Lattin is a long-time fan of Philip K. Dick, so it seemed a natural for him to choose his stories to redesign. Brendan is a prolific illustrator with a vivid and busy mind and had no trouble coming up with some great illustration work for this book. 

The previous five photos are of Sarah Ervine's chosen book, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), by Jerome K. Jerome. Sarah is an avid reader and former English major and tells me that the humor in this book still seems just as fresh as it must originally have been in 1889 when it was first published in England. Her delightful illustrations certainly reinforce this impression.  

Jaime Patneaude's version of J.D. Salinger's Nine Stories hit a perfect note for his writings. The cover is spare and elegantly simple as even Salinger may have appreciated.

Corinna Rodriguez designed and illustrated a book of fairy tales from the Irish writer and politician, Edmund Leamy (1848 - 1904). Not only that, but Leamy was a great-great grandfather, whom she never met. She used a square format for his book, The Golden Spears and produced some beautiful pen and ink illustrations of wildlife. In addition to the printed book, she also produced an ePub version for viewing on the iPad, Nook and Kindle. 

Marisa Waits dared to take on Stephen King's horror novel, The Shining. Although the front matter and covers featured here are particularly sinister and bold, it is just her scare tactic. The interior text of her book is actually much more mindful of King's writing, and quite tame in comparison.
   I hope to feature more student's book projects in the coming days. If you would like to see past student book projects, check out this, this, and this. Oh, and don't forget these and these books


  1. Thank you for such a group of fabulous posts. It is a reminder to that there is so much more to a book than paper the ink.

    In an age of computer fonts we need to remember that the art of typography is long, convoluted and ideological; we wrap up so much in the formation of our chosen symbols.

    To then see format, illustration, margin and binding thought through with care is a joy

    As you may have guessed I am rather a fan of the book.

  2. Jennifer Kennard, Sr. LetterologistJune 4, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    You are most welcome Charlotte! The book's legacy is so intwined with the history of type that it's traditions cannot be ignored. Making long texts readable should be the typographer's primary concern. It is one of the key ingredients which still separate books from eBooks. It is such a pleasure to read a good book with comfortable margins, lovely type, nice paper and thoughtful design.

    More of my student's books are waiting in the wings...


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