29 September 2011

reading, writing, and

Exploring Arithmetic, copyright 1958 by Webster Publishing Company

There's a crispness to the air today that reminds me of plaid uniform skirts and pumpkin muffins for breakfast, of pencil cases and new backpacks, of spelling tests, library books, and arithmetic. I never was attracted to math, yet I can't help but want to pull out a hand-crank pencil sharpener and spend an early evening filling in these whimsical pages. 

The desire to keep learning is strong, and the mind questions whether my current path is the right one. In this Autumn air, I long for academia. 

08 September 2011

telling stories

I am pleased to present some sneak peeks of the first two picture books I had the pleasure of designing for Chronicle Books this past year: Stephen Shaskan's ever-so-cheeky A Dog is a Dog, and Bob Barner's Animal Baths

Despite some recent naysaying, the picture book still remains as the pivotal format of classic children's literature. Deceptively simple in design and format, picture book design relies heavily on the outstanding talents of the illustrator, whose personal vision and rendering style carry the spirit and drive the narrative of the book. In this case, the role of the designer becomes that of a composer–the invisible presence who shapes the composition through quiet direction while letting the voice of the illustrator shine. I had the privilege or working with some amazing (and patient!) illustrators, and through many rounds of sketches and typographic exploration, these books are complete. They are ready to sit on a nightstand somewhere, waiting for those quiet moments before bedtime, when their pages will be turned, and their stories told. 

The Target Children's Book Festival is this Saturday, and Minneapolis' own Stephen Shaskan will be there! Will you?