ON DESIGN: The book design process involves becoming absorbed in a manuscript, understanding its essence, and conveying this through thoughtful choices of type, ornamentation, color, balance, proportion, variety, and pacing. Grounded in these fundamentals, the result should reflect the manuscript so thoroughly that the design is essentially transparent. A book design that calls attention to itself intrudes on the reader's relationship with the text. The total book—text and design—should seem borne as a whole from the author alone.
ON PRESERVING FAMILY HISTORY: As a book designer of privately published memoirs, family histories, and family photo albums, almost none of my clients is wealthy in the traditional sense. A quality that's common to all might be that they consider the preservation of family stories to be a priority (above, say, taking an extended vacation or remodeling a bathroom). Others may have felt the loss of not knowing their ancestors and have the need to record their own family memories and perspective on the world for their children and grandchildren. How one chooses to invest their resources reflects their values; an inheritance bestowed can take many forms.
ME, IN BRIEF: As a professional book designer with over 35 years of experience, I'm dedicated to producing beautiful, inventive, and intelligent work. I hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York. My career has been in trade book publishing, working on staff at Henry Holt and Company and subsequently as a freelance designer through my studio for Random House, Penguin Putnam, St. Martin's Press, Andrews McMeel, and other publishers. My experience in book design is broad: I've worked on fiction, non-fiction (biography, current affairs, history, health & wellness, and humor), cookbooks, gift books, heavily-illustrated books, and children's books. My reputation is for being conscientious, detail-oriented, responsive, and reliable.
A particular interest has always been designing life histories. Among the memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies I've designed for trade publishers are:
Loni Anderson: My Life in High Heels
Steve Coll: On the Grand Trunk Road
Sammy Davis, Jr.: Why Me?
Waris Dirie: Desert Flower
Michael Drosnin: Citizen Hughes (a biography of Howard Hughes)
Joycelyn Elders: Joycelyn Elders, M.D.
Fred Hobson: Mencken: A Life
Mike Iaconelli: Fishing On the Edge
Ed Koch: Citizen Koch
David Mamet: The Cabin
Gabriel García Márquez: Clandestine in Chile
Reine-Marie Paris: Camille (a biography of Rodin's muse)
Lech Walesa: A Way of Hope (an autobiography)
Donna Williams: Nobody Nowhere
Vanessa Williams: You Have No Idea
Yevgeny Yevtushenko: Almost at the End
I welcome the opportunity to discuss new book projects; I'm also available to consult on the design and development of a book to be self-published. Feel free to contact me here.
And if you're story is yet to be written, you might take a peek at the gorgeous books that editor Samantha Shubert and I produce, through our partnership, Remarkable Life Memoirs.