University Press Week 2015 Blog Tour Roundup, Day 3


The 2015 University Press Week blog tour continues today discussing Design in UP and Scholarly Publishing.

Princeton University Press’s Design department launched a design tumblr highlighting notable projects with commentary by the book’s respective designer. This behind-the-scenes look reveals thoughts, challenges, and compromises the designers faced throughout their creative processes. Of note: the blog features a look at the Press Room at Princeton University Press in 1910.

MIT Press’s “Design Through the Decades at The MIT Press” is essentially a compressed history of graphic design from the mid-twentieth century to the present. This exciting video (accompanied by a Talking Heads song) takes a look at how book design has evolved over several decades using the human brain image as a case study. It presents a fascinating look at how typographic trends, printing technology, and popular culture have shaped book design over the last 60+ years.

Harvard University Press interviews Senior Book Designer Jill Breitbarth about a recent project, The Seven Pillars of Statistical Wisdom, detailing what factors shaped her process. Contrasting historic engravings with modern and colorful line art, the post illustrates the various drafts that led to the final design.

Stanford University Press features a Q&A with two of their freelance designers, Anne Jordan and Mitch Goldstein, who work under the direction of SUP’s Art Director, Rob Ehle. The designers share their creative processes, explain their focus on type-based designs, and provide slide shows of how they create some of their textured and unique designs outside of the computer.

Northwestern University Press interviews Art Director Marianne Jankowski. Jankowski shares how to design for a list with varied subject matter and explains the different challenges between trade and scholarly covers. She also discusses how and when a subtle marriage between interior and cover design is possible.

It is often said that the best design is invisible. Georgetown University Press explores this ideology through textbook design. The textbook must be both functional and legible, often incorporating multiple elements (information graphics, boxed text, illustrations, tables, etc.), without distracting the reader. GUP also touches on the more technical aspects of how Production schedules are altered to accommodate textbook design.

Karl Janssen, Art Director and Web Master at University Press of Kansas reveals in “Jacket Required” how being a University Press Designer is a book-lover’s dream. Janssen also explains the multi-dimensional role of the Book Designer in a digital age when the cover’s Amazon thumbnail translation is equally as important as the printed jacket on a bookshelf.

Syracuse University Press interviews designer Lynn Wilcox and shares some of her work. Wilcox details the creative freedoms she exercises at the press, even with the limitations of predetermined cover art, as well as trends she sees emerging in book design today.

Lastly, Yale University Press features thoughts from four of their book designers considering the challenges and conceptual freedoms that come with designing all-type book covers. Some typefaces bring a historical significance to a cover, while others work together to make the title a design element of its own. Slideshows from each designer illustrate successful applications of all-type covers.

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