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Artist Features

Get to know some talented folks

Community is important. Making it so imperative that we, as creatives, take the time to get to know with and engage with our fellow makers, shakers, and biz owners. Interviewing and highlighting them and give these dynamos a much deserved spotlight.

This month we're getting to know Katie a creative and book publisher in NYC who is massively interesting.

Featured ARTIST list

Rather Bookish

“Books. Cats. Life is Good.” ― Edward Gorey

What's your name and what's your professional title?

Hiiiiii! I'm Katie. I'm a book designer! I work for a Publisher in New York, but have been designing from an upstairs cave in Jersey for the past year-plus.

What does a typical project entail?

The great thing about working on books (and being a graphic designer), is that every project is brand new. We get to go research new worlds, meet new characters, and help shape a feeling with every assignment we're given. What I DO always do, is read the manuscript (and if it's not fully written, which sometimes it isn't...I read whatever we have) to get a feel for the tone of the story. Tone is THE most important aspect of a cover, I'd argue. However a story feels, is how the cover should make readers feel when they look at it (that, and you'll need to sum it all up in one image!).


Depending on the feel and the tone and the story, I'll start to explore what medium (photography, digital paintings, illustrations, sculpture, mixed media, etc.) could best get all of those things across to readers.


Photos courtsey of Katie 



Once we have a good idea of who we'd like to hire to work within this newly imagined world, we pitch them to the team in-house. Sometimes we have many pitches for one project, other times there is a solid feeling of "it MUST be this". From there we hire an artist to work with, or we build the cover ourselves (a designer wears many hats) and go through rounds of concepting until we land on THE direction we know we want to fully realize.


We work by seasons in Publishing, so at any given moment designers can be working on anywhere from 10 - 30 books, each at stages ranging from the ideation of a cover concept (the first stage in the process) to the jacket mechanical (the typesetting of the physical wrapped jacket of a book, which is the last form it takes in our care). When all is complete, we'll have worked on a project for nearly a year (sometimes more, sometimes less). And the day that we get to hold the thing we helped make (because there are at the very least dozens of people involved in the making of a book), we have this bizarre feeling...a memory? A pride? A nostalgia? Because we're deep into the next projects already & time is a wicked wonder. 

Under the Whispering Door - title lettering / art by Red Nose Studio

Under the Whispering Door - title lettering / art by Red Nose Studio


You're incredibly accomplished, but we all experience lifes obstacles. What has almost stopped you from getting to this point?

Listening to what anyone else thought my life should be. That sounds trite, but damn when you're In It and have those moments where you're trying to figure something out, from my experience it's easy to feel like you can't even trust your own self. I think not finishing college honestly was a turning point for me—it was the moment I stopped giving a shit about what others thought I should do and just did what was right for me.

"I think the times have made us all question...everything, so I'm hopeful that change is a'coming."

Orgin story?


Who/What got you interested about books in the first place?

My Mom! If it was ever raining on the weekend, she'd take me to Harry W. Schwartz (hi, Boswell Books!) and we'd spend the afternoon reading in the aisles. Not shockingly, I DO buy books for their covers—sometimes I'm drawn to a book for it's story, sometimes it's packaging, sometimes both.

What's something you have learned and you wish you could tell your 22-year-old self?


Don't be so precious! Being a graphic designer is all about problem solving—so when they arise (and my sweet, they will) see it as an opportunity to play detective and find the next solution.


Keepin' it light...


Fall gift idea? 


Books, baby! From your local indie bookstore—you'll be supporting so many artists, writers, and shop owners by buying books from a small business. And if you can, preorder that title you have your eye on...If you need recommendations I utterly loved: Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune, The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward, The Perishing by Natashia Deón

Checkout to buy from local bokstores. 



Under the Whispering Door - title lettering / art by Red Nose Studio

I Don't Forgive You - design

The Silence of Bones - design / art by Kasiq Jungwoo

Thank you Katie for taking the time! For more on katie follow her on instagram.

We stand on each other's shoulders. The shoulders of strong, diverse, fearless women. Giants in the making. Be kind, be generous.

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