Showing posts with label Graphic Design. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Graphic Design. Show all posts

25 March 2014

Notice anything different?

Well, if you follow this blog with a reader*, you probably won't, but I've given the ol' girl a new coat of paint.

What do you think?

The "dynamic view" from Blogger was nice looking but didn't give me the ability to do some of the things I wanted to do on the blog. There are still a few things that I'm wrestling with (back in my day -- oh, so long ago -- I would just hard code everything and use tables to put everything in its place, but that is frowned upon these days), but I think this works for now.

While I was at it, I went ahead and updated the rest of my online presence:

Oof! Now, I'm tired (it doesn't help that I seem to have come down with something: terrible sore throat in the morning, super runny nose and sneezing all day long). Sometimes it feels like being online is a full-time job, but now I need to get back to working on some future designs. And order business cards and get all my IRL identity ducks in a row. A designer's work is never done :)

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

*If you use a reader, which one do you use? I'd pretty happy with feedly but am curious to know what else is out there these days.

10 March 2011

Glue Fingers

I helped out at Isobel's school today and ended up with Elmer's Glue all over my fingers. Can you remember the last time that happened to you?

At the kids' school the week before Spring Break is called IPW (Integrated Project Week), and groups of students and teachers (in our case ten and two) get together to explore a topic not usually covered in the curriculum for a week. Isobel chose Papermaking and Bookmaking, and I made the "mistake" of mentioning my years of book making experience (albeit on a larger scale, usually having pressmen do the dirty work) to Isobel's teachers, one of whom is leading Isobel's IPW. I said I would come for a morning to help out when they were putting together their books, since an extra pair of adult hands would be helpful when you've got ten first and second graders, glue, and sewing needles.

I ended up spending all day there and am going back tomorrow morning to help finish up their projects, which have to be done before the school Showcase begins at 1pm. Penelope is going to help, too. I'm already exhausted :)

But it's been a lot of fun. I've enjoyed spending time with the kids and seeing how they all (teachers and students) interact together in the classroom, albeit not during a typical day. First and second graders are still so squirmy. Some of them gnaw on their shirts (they are still teething, after all). Sometimes they are so excited about their ideas that they forget to raise their hands. And they all want my help. They love interacting with adults who are willing to sit down at their little tables. The teachers are patient and kind and fair yet also human and with high expectations for how the kids should handle themselves and faith in what these children can do. I'm always impressed with how great the teachers and staff at the school are, but this was a special treat for me. A day on the inside, if you will.

I helped out with accordion books for half the kids at the beginning of the day and ended up making my own, which I'm excited about*. And late in the afternoon we decided to "go for it" and make classic bound books, too, which the other half had made in the morning. We managed to get everyone's boards attached to book cloth spines and wrap the boards before the day was done. Tomorrow we'll sew signatures together and attach the book blocks and endpapers to the boards. So much fun. And it was so neat to see how excited the kids were about their books, especially after we copied/shrunk the stories they've been working on all week so they could paste them into their books.

I'll show you my work (and Isobel's) after we get to bring everything home tomorrow. Until then, go smear some Elmer's on your hands and then peel it off. It is still as fun as ever.

*Back in my publishing days when people still bought books at their local book store, the highlight of my job, much as I enjoyed the designing and directing and whatnot, was when I got to make little packaging models. The box manufacturers would send me files showing how the eventual box would be printed on a sheet of cardboard. I would print this out on a piece of letter paper, cut it out on the die-lines, fold it on the fold lines and put together a wee sample of what the box would be like. That way I could understand where to place the graphics on the big sheet that would eventually be cut and folded into a package. I always loved my little models, probably because it was a chance to get out the Exacto knife and tape. But it was also because you turned this simple sheet of paper, with a few folds and cuts, into something completely different. Guess I kind of do that now with sticks and string. See, fun!

05 November 2009


Safari: Home page

Safari: User home screen

Safari: Search results screen

These are screen shots of the original user interface for Safari: O'Reilly Books Online (now Safari Books Online, as other publishers have come on board to add their content to this online interface). I worked with the development team in Belgium and the East and West Coast offices of O'Reilly to come up with the interface back in 1999-2000.

This was such an interesting project to work on because I not only had to reinforce the O'Reilly identity but take it into a new online realm. I also had to think about how different readers/users would want to work with our material online. Luckily, my earlier experience in educational publishing came in handy, where I had learned about different modes of learning. And my years working with Edie Freedman, Creative Director extraordinaire helped, too.

From here I went on to work for, largely in the GomezPro division, designing online tools for customers, including a tool to create online surveys, which was, again, interesting, as I had to think of all the different kinds of questions users would want to ask and then figure out the best design for those elements. I am looking through my archives for design samples from my Gomez days and will post what I find.

CSB Fashion Show Invitation

Invitation, envelope, reply card, raffle cards and tickets, note card (not shown: reply envelope, stationery sheet for staff use, and program) for The Children's Service Board of Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago 46th Annual Gold Coast Fashion Show

This was a two-color job, so I chose the classic combination of red and black for a sharp and sophisticated look -- previous years had gone for a softer color combination. The checkerboard added a graphic element to balance the lovely fashion sketch, and I really liked the impact of opening the invitation and getting that full-on pop of red.

29 October 2009

Healing with Crystals & Gemstones

Healing with Crystals & Gemstones by Daya Sarai Chocron (Weiser Books)
Art direction, photo research, production

The Fairy Party Book

The Fairy Party Book by Marina T. Stern (Red Wheel)
Art direction, hiring of freelance illustrator, production

Change Your Mind and Your Life Will Follow

Change Your Mind and Your Life Will Follow by Karen Casey (Red Wheel/Weiser)
Art direction, photo research, production

23 October 2009

Moon Magic

Moon Magic by Dion Fortune
Cover design and production
We ended up doing a one-color printing (and had to choose a dark enough color for the barcode to scan) of the cover and then foil-stamping the title in silver - inspired by the lovely cover treatments for the His Dark Materials series but without the budget for the gorgeous hand-lettered titles [The Golden Compass paperback].

Celtic Cross

Celtic Cross: Croes Celtaidd kit by Derek Bryce (Red Wheel)
Design and production of die-cut box and included book

Moments In Between

Moments In Between: The Art of the Quiet Mind by David Kundtz (Conari Press)
Cover design and production, photo research, interior design and production
A lushly illustrated, abridged edition of Kundtz's Quiet Mind

21 October 2009

course|notes Reference Guides

course|notes Reference Guides series design
Brief: Create series design for z-style, tri-fold, laminated reference cards filled with a wide variety of information; color-code information and build in enough flexibility to cover design issues that will come to light as new topic cards are created. Previous card designs were jumbled and filled with undifferentiated type, limiting their usefulness to students.

Alternative MCSE/MCSA Series designs

MCSE Guide to Microsoft Windows Vista by Byron Wright & Leon Plesniarski (Thomson|Course Technology)
Alternative designs for MCSE/MCSA Series

Health Care Law

Health Care Law by Janice Kazmier (Thomson|Delmar Learning)
Art direction of freelance designer working with remote team


Evidence: Investigation, Rules, and Trials by Benjamin H. Frisch (Thomson|Delmar Learning)
Art direction of freelance designer working with remote team

Illustrated Series

Illustrated Series
Introduction to Computer Concepts, Sixth Edition, Enhanced by June Jamrich Parsons and Dan Oja (Thomson|Course Technology)
Art direction of existing series design included art selection, adjustment, and color correction; color palette selection; interior design adjustment; ancillary design, production, and coordination

MCSE Guide to Microsoft Windows Vista Professional

MCSE Guide to Microsoft® Windows ® Vista Professional by Byron Wright & Leon Plesniarski (Thomson|Course Technology)
Redesign of series for a more modern, graphic look

A Guided Tour of Microsoft Office 2007, Windows Vista Edition

A Guided Tour of Microsoft® Office 2007, Windows Vista™ Edition, Movie Tutorials CD by Corinne Hoisington (Thomson|Course Technology)
Stock photo research and adaptation of series design for new Vista titles.

Lessons from the Top Paralegal Experts

Lessons from the Top Paralegal Experts by Carole A. Bruno (Thomson|Delmar Learning)
Art direction of freelance designer working with remote team
Four different options for dealing with the issues of race and gender when producing books that will entice and reassure rather than offend wide-ranging market, including handsome two-color option

A Guided Tour of Microsoft Windows Vista

A Guided Tour of Microsoft Windows Vista™ Movie Tutorials CD by Corinne Hoisington (Thomson|Course Technology)
Stock photo research and adaptation of series design for new Vista titles.

19 October 2009

Buckland's Book of Saxon Witchcraft

Buckland's Book of Saxon Witchcraft by Raymond Buckland
Brief: A reissue of a classic book on witchcraft; ethereal, not "witchy"
I art directed the photographer remotely --  we were excited about the idea of the model's hair and the tree limbs working together -- and then did the book design.