Us publishing folk do get excited about... fonts and things. Yes, hard to believe, but true. Take a look at these before and after images, to get an idea of how our design evolved in just a few short weeks. I'm sure you'll agree that Ailbhe Hooper, our Graphic Design Director, did an absolutely phenomenal job!
We kicked off the project in late July, and only a few short weeks later, on 21st August, we had our first designs. By the time the second design came around, only a week later, we were already very close to the final version, with some minor tweaking here and there. Take a look at the before and after pictures of how some of the pages evolved from the first to the second to the final design. Enjoy!
1. Opening Page
The very first page when you open the book needs to be eye-catching in the best possible way. The first set of designs was really just playing with different fonts and treatments.
And this was the second design, just over a week later. A coffee table book needs to have fabulous design, coupled with a strong image, to make the reader want to turn the page. We originally dropped in this image from Portyglenone Forest, taken by the very talented Robin Quigley. It was just a placeholder, as we already had a place for it later in the book, and didn't want to use it twice.
Oh and what about this forest pic? Well, if you spot this image in the printed book when you've bought it, contact me on social (Facebook or Insta), and tell me what page this picture is on . You are entered into a draw and will be in with a chance to win a signed copy of Lights on the Horizon!
And this is the final design of the opening pages (double A4 page), which you will find in the printed book.
We absolutely love this page as the image perfectly depicts the quiet streets we all experienced during lockdown. Fondly known as 'The Boy on the Bike', and taken by the very talented photographer David Lynch, this image shows a deserted Dublin city centre during Ireland's first lockdown in March.
This image would also become the image for our promotional materials! You've probably spotted it on our posters on social media. Here's a little reminder. Click on the poster to pre-order the book!
2. Jeremy Irons Quote Page
Design 1, 21st August 2020: Draft Jeremy Irons quote page: After the boost that Jeremy Irons' endorsement gave us, we knew we needed to give this its own page, so the idea for this Jeremy Irons Quote page was born. We liked the look of it but there was some tweaking required on the fonts and colours, and an image needed to be added.
And this is the final double page spread in the printed book! The image is from photographer Robin Quigley - the very first photographer we had on board!
3. Preface Page
We wanted the design to be a 'Wow' - unusual, yet sleek, gorgeous, and truly premium. Take a look at the Preface page, from its very first design, to 2nd, and then final design. You will see that the 2nd design pretty much 'nailed' the look and feel we went with in the end. Seeing this, and many of the other pages in just the second design was the 'Wow! That's it!' moment for us.
And here are the left and right hand pages, which you will see in the final printed version. The colour treatment, and the dropped in image really make a huge difference to the design.
*** Competition alert! ***The first person to contact me on social (Facebook or Insta) to tell me what location this picture is of will get a signed copy of Lights on the Horizon!
4. Story Pages
Now let's take a look at how some of the story pages evolved - again, you get a good sense of the Before and After. We veered away from the large numbering, though we loved it, because of the space the numbers took up on a page. Here we're comparing one of the opening stories in the book, 'Saoirse and the Healing World', by the very talented Michelle Young of Ink Wing Academy.
We had some last minute changes to the author pages, due to image sizing, but I hope you'll agree that the final result of this double page spread is gorgeous! The three ladies that made up the steering committee (Ailbhe Hooper, as well as Tess Tattersall, our Editorial Director, and Niamh Cooper, the Publisher) were all instantly in love with the cursive font for the quotes. Yes, it doesn't take much to set our publishing hearts all aflutter. I think the cursive quotes really finish off the page in the most lovely way! Ailbhe had to stop me from putting these everywhere...
We hope you enjoyed getting a little insight into how a book evolves during the design process. We're so proud of the book, and hope that you'll enjoy it too. You can pre-order it here, or in five bookshops nationwide:
All proceeds go to frontline workers, and this will make a lovely Christmas present for your brother who's so hard to buy for, your cousin who's a nurse - or just for that hero in your life!
Niamh is a publisher and writer, based in West Cork. Bi-lingual in German and English, she's always finding new ways to play with words. Check this page for updates on exciting initiatives happening in eThentique!