Bookbuilders of Boston is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing together people involved in book publishing and manufacturing throughout New England. Our blog describes industry events that we sponsor or attend.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bookbuilders of Boston continued its 2011 Fall Workshops on Wednesday evening at Pearson Education’s offices.

Cate Barr, Senior Art Director at Cengage Learning, shared that she enjoys in her role the opportunity to become actively involved with editors and authors. During a question and answer session, she offered suggestions on what a designer needs to show when interviewing. It is important to show not just a strong portfolio but also that one can be actively involved in problem solving, take direction well, and be a team member.

Erin Hasley, Senior Designer at MIT Press, expressed that pride can sometimes be an issue. As a designer, one has to learn to accept criticism that can sometimes be unabashed and unrelenting. Erin offered that sometimes if a design is just not working, she takes a break from it, and then comes back to it at a later time. This can help one to rejuvenate and refresh.

George Restrepo, of Rest-Design, offered his insights for working as a freelancer. He shared the importance of nurturing successful client-based relations. If a designer values those relations, things will progress from there. He explained one of the challenges of being a designer is how to weed out different types of feedback. He told the group that a lot of people do not know what they want until they see it. One solution is to show a few variations on a particular design and see where the feedback goes.

Questions involved whether or not one should create portfolios geared toward print or digital design. All of the designers agreed that there is no magic answer to putting together a portfolio, but it is important when putting one together to focus on showing the fundamentals.

EBooks and XML typesetting were discussed as well. EBooks are generally pdf files of the printed book, so there are usually no extra elements involved. The speakers agreed that designing across platforms would technically become easier in the future.

Thank you to Lehigh Phoenix for sponsoring this workshop.

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