Friday, May 14, 2010

Shedworking: Designing the book

The talented Becky Clarke, Art Director at Frances Lincoln, is responsible for making the Shedworking book (which you can order on or look so marvellous. So we asked her to write a guest post about the process behind piecing it all together...
I have been designing illustrated non-fiction books at Frances Lincoln for about 10 years. When Shedworking was mentioned I was immediately intrigued - us graphic designers love a quirky subject. Book design is somewhat like doing a jigsaw. You're given the manuscript and an assortment of pictures which you then have to try and fit onto the pages. I'm happy to say that Alex had labelled everything well and organised it into chapters, so it really wasn't too difficult to piece it all together.

When I sifted through the images it was the pure simplicity and smooth white curves of the capsule teahouse that first caught my eye. Not your regular cluttered wooden shed, piled high with tools, unwanted furniture and redundant toys. This book wasn't going to be just about converting your little suburban shack - this was also really innovative and exciting design.

I felt that the book too should have a clean and modern feel, lending it also a slightly masculine air. I chose a light sans serif typeface for the body text, justified into two columns to create clean lines. I then used a condensed version of the same typeface for the captions. I wanted to make the chapter openers consistent and did so by using the same turquoise colour throughout and converting the chosen image to black and white. A lot of the material had been sourced from manufacturers and would not have taken the enlargement to a full page, so this did prove a bit of a challenge.

The finished book works well as a whole. The cover conveys a flavour of what's inside and the variety of images are successful in their purpose to inspire and excite us about the possibility of a little, or indeed quite large, functional haven in our own backyard.
the flat-packed, man-portable garden storage, garden workshop and garden office solutions
Friday posts are sponsored by Extraspace, the flat-packed, man-portable expandable garden building experts. Click here for more details

No comments:

Post a Comment