Bright white paper with crisp black type. Text that aligns just so. Page after page of flowing words, polished to the best possible settings for the existing variables, each line given attention, each piece mapped to an InDesign style. My design home is now at Round Table Companies. If your values align with RTC’s, perhaps your book and I can meet there :).
Book layout and typography has come to be my special thing, and I’ve worked on well over one hundred books. Prose, graphic novels, workbooks, textbooks, and children’s books, as well as digital conversions. I believe that books should be designed with care and attention to detail; both print and digital versions, novel and business book. But I love page layout of all sorts, including datasheets and forms. I’ve been a professional designer for around a decade and have done design work in nearly every job I’ve held prior as well, from magazine layout to procedural manuals to floor plans and maps. Currently I support our RTC clients with their graphic needs from book layout to branding packages, and creating art installations at inspiring events.
It’s lovely to step away from my computer and draw by hand, whether traveling to oversee art installations that foster connection and shared humanity or simply drawing in a notebook, it’s the rare type of work that doesn’t require sitting at my desk!
Once upon a time I drew or painted custom home portraits for people to give as gifts or as a way to commemorate their home. To speed things up, I commonly traced the overall outline features and then filled in the details by referencing their photo. If memory serves, they averaged around 14 hours to complete.
You might say I had an addiction of sorts to Microsoft Access/VBA at one point in my life! I built so many detail-oriented, user-friendly systems for all sorts of things from inspection tracking software (which I sold for a time under the company name Solarasoft) to extensive event, athletic, and membership programs and beyond that were used for many years by the companies they were built for. It was downright exciting for me to craft these systems with form fields that actually lined up, beautiful reports with user options, and helpful navigation. I was hired on the side by a database company after someone showed the owner my work, and he commented I was the best coder he’d ever seen. Honestly, it came relatively naturally to me. Yet, I let go of all of it when it came time to simplify my life. Databases are a truly beautiful interweaving of logic, precision, and art. You might say I miss it, but I also feel relief. There are only so many technologies I can stay on top of well and still maintain some semblance of a calm life ;).
I became the resident designer in most full-time positions I held, but my freelance design career started mostly on Elance, where I completed nearly 500 projects. There I worked on annual reports, datasheets, forms, whitepapers, print and digital books, infographics, letterhead, business cards, newsletters, brochures, charts, databases, advertisements, HTML email, web pages, signage . . . you name it. I’m quite happy to have settled years ago into a steady and permanent design home for client work.