Archive for March, 2013

An Interesting, New Way to Work

Add comment March 25th, 2013

Something new is happening on this latest job. I am getting paid on a monthly basis before beginning the “meat” of the book project. In other words, like some other professionals, I am on a retainer.

This came up in a fairly uncomplicated way. The client—a small, independent publisher—made it clear from when we first spoke that, although her company is of modest means, she definitely believes in paying freelancers fairly for the work they do. So she proposed paying in monthly installments, starting when we signed our agreement to work together.

It takes a bit of getting used to, receiving checks without doing any real work yet. But it is also very nice to have a regular income. Up until the other day I had hoped the textfiles would be ready and in my possession sooner rather than later. I found out, however, that is could be September or so before editing was completed.

I was told just over the weekend that I am free to begin work with the complete, though yet-to-be-edited textfiles right now if I choose. The expectation is that any editing will not result in large additions or deletions of copy. So there should not be major shifting of text.

On the one hand, I am as leery of working with files that are not final as I have always been. Despite that, I remain eager to plunge into this one, a combination travel book/cookbook. The design was approved some time ago. It’s bright and straightforward.

I cannot wait to start. And since I already receive payment, I may take the early plunge.

The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design Companion, Part VI Identity

1 comment March 20th, 2013

The next category in The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design is Identity. To the extent that a book cover, for instance, establishes identity and can be part of a larger “package” that could include ads, posters, websites, etc., I guess I understand the idea of Identity. But a true Identity element is used in those different ways: in print, packaging, video, and so on.

The Archive shows some powerful and effective pieces. They demonstrate some very well-known examples of brand in the twentieth century.








As book design is my area, this category is the first one I viewed a something of an outsider. Even film graphics were something I felt common ground with, as I once wrote film criticism for a couple of arts papers and remain a real movie buff. But from “outside” this category I still see a number of impressive examples of typography and graphics working together.






All the pieces, including ones I have not displayed here, can serve to stimulate both students and practicing graphic artists. And inspiration is almost always worth the price of admission. Even—or perhaps especially—when the identity established is a horror, there is something to be learned about how visuals can move us.


The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design Companion, Part V Book Cover

Add comment March 6th, 2013

Before I learned to design books, I learned to love books and movies. And film titles were actually some of the first graphics to make an impression on me. So I looked forward to the Film Graphics category from the moment I saw it named on one of the divider cards in the box in which The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design arrived.

Film graphics often find their way onto movie posters, in addition to titles and credits. And this category is about the graphics themselves. It has the smallest number of examples in the categories reviewed to this point.

While not immediately intuitive, the connection I see between film graphics and book design is along the lines of the inspiration many graphic artist get from “found type,” letterforms found out “in the wild,” in real life. The relations between type and the space around it are displayed in a number of ways under this category.

Type as graphics are particularly useful for book covers and title pages. The Archive inspires in yet another way.







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