Sasquatch Books' art director loves collaborating with photographers, stylists and illustrators to design books for the Seattle publisher.
What do you do? I’m the associate art director at Sasquatch Books and am responsible for all visual aspects of the books we publish. This means I hire and oversee all photographers, illustrators and designers, as well as doing much of the design work myself. Projects range from highly designed cookbooks, like “Trophy Cupcakes and Parties!” “Ivar’s Seafood Cookbook” and Renee Erickson’s upcoming cookbook) to narrative nonfiction and children’s books.
How did you get started in that field? I attended the graphic design program at Seattle Central Community College (now called Seattle Central Creative Academy), after finishing a four-year undergraduate degree in studio art. About a year after graduating, I saw the job opening for a designer at Sasquatch Books and jumped at the opportunity to apply — and was thrilled to be offered the job! Since then my role has expanded to include art direction as well as design which lets me have a larger creative vision for each project.
What’s a typical day like? I’m working on many different books at one time at different stages. So in one day, I might be approaching a new photographer or illustrator about an upcoming project, discussing a few new projects with editors, working on a couple of cover mockups for other books, working on interior design of another, and also possibly flowing and production of another book. I also often get to spend time on set in photographers’ studios for book cover photo shoots.
What surprises people about your work? Most people don’t understand that book design goes beyond covers. Though there’s a lot of emphasis on books’ covers, in most cases, more work actually goes into the interior of a book.
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What’s the best part of the job? I love the collaboration aspect of my job, when I get to work with really amazing photographers, stylists and illustrators. I also love the part of the process when I get to flow a manuscript into the design. It’s really satisfying to use the design template I’ve established and to then put the actual words in and place all of the other elements; I see the book come to life right in front of me!