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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bookmarks: Kate Wong


Ta dah! Cover debut!
  
Graphic designer Kate Wong designed the cover of Camelot & Vine as well as the book's interior. Kate is a dream to work with and I'm so happy with the way the book is going to look. For today's Bookmarks, I thought an interview with Kate was in order. Check out her links. She has a lot to offer.

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I understand this is your first book design project. Do you plan to do more? 
I would love to do more book design—especially covers or illustration. I’m guilty as sin when it comes to judging books by their covers, but perhaps being a graphic designer makes that impulse unavoidable! One thing I love is a special edition book that’s highly designed inside and out: gorgeous cover plus extra bits and pieces of beautiful illustration or graphics sprinkled throughout. That is a project I would love to be a part of. 

What do you like about designing books? 
I’m also a writer, so I think book design really unites the visual and verbal elements of my career. I also love the idea of designing a cover that can make someone like me pick up a book. While interior layouts on most books aren’t as much fun to do, there’s a sense of accomplishment to completing a design that is clear, readable, and undistracting—it’s an exercise in restraint. 

What's the hardest part? 
With any project—book design, branding, editorial—getting on the same page as the client is always the biggest obstacle. Once we’re both clear on the desired result, things fall together easily. As for interior layout design, it’s really difficult to choose a typeface! It’s tough to get that perfect font that looks beautiful and readable. 

Where did you study graphic design? 
I’ve taken a few courses at UCSD extension to learn how to use Adobe Creative Suite, but when it comes to theory I’ve learned from reading—mainly design blogs. I like to think I’m artistic and have a natural instinct for this, but just absorbing the images out there does wonders! Someday I would love to study graphic design, or maybe illustration, but right now I love just working. As a side note, my real degree is a B.A. in humanities, with a focus on political satire. 

What inspires you? What influences your style? 
I’m always inspired by anything colorful, quirky, or whimsical. Like a lot of designers right now, I love a modern, super-clean look, but a sense of playfulness is something I really gravitate towards. I love unexpected pairings—for instance an ultra contemporary design with a classic font. I think the contrast gives the design more impact! 

Tell us about Dog Stalking and Striped Cat Studio.
My design blog, Striped Cat Studio, started as a way to promote my freelance business, but it’s sort of taken on a life of its own. I try to focus on graphic design in relation to other aspects of life (fashion, for instance), and the way graphic design can make our lives prettier. Dog Stalking is probably the column least related to the rest of my blog, and it’s also my favorite. It was born from my obsession with dogs, and the fact that I don’t own one—I spend weekends intentionally visiting places where people take their dogs, then feature watercolor portraits of dogs I’ve met on the blog every week. Someday, I’d love to turn Dog Stalking into a book. 
(Boz got stalked and I bought the original!) 

What are your plans for this year? 
I have too many plans this year to count! Focusing my business, marketing, building relationships with new clients…plus non-designy things like refinishing the mid-century chair I found at the Rose Bowl Flea Market. 

What does your ideal career look like? What's your vision? 
My dream is working on a project that falls somewhere between Anthology magazine and Bri Emery’s blog Designlovefest: amazing writing, style, travel, beautiful design…I want to be involved with all of those things! I’ve never had a full time job working for someone else, and at this point I can’t imagine that sort of career for myself.

*****

Thank you, Kate. I'm so glad I got to work with you and I hope we do it again.


24 comments:

LOLfromPasa said...

Marvelous, Petrea! Just marvelous!

dive said...

Oooh,. stylish!
Love it. Nice one, Kate.
Petrea, I thought for one moment when your blog popped onto my screen that the book was finally out. This just makes me more eager for the launch date.
Oh, and the horse's sly, sideways glance is just delightful.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

I love the clean lines of the cover as well as the simplicity of it!. Can't wait for my copy! :-)

sonia a. mascaro said...

Just amazing cover! Congratulations!

Petrea Burchard said...

Kate and I are both excited to finally see this baby in print! Honestly, I don't mean to tease. Just ironing out a few details with Amazon's CreateSpace and Kindle, and we'll have it. Soon after, it will be available on all other devices, too.

Dive, I'm glad you mentioned the horse's glance. That's all Kate's; I love it.

Desiree said...

LOVE IT!

Katie said...

I too am guilty of quickly judging (and passing over) covers when I'm browsing in a bookstore, but I would immediately pick up this book as the cover is immediately striking and bold and sexy! The strong grays and blue sky are perfectly punctuated by the red lips and ampersand, and the font choice is great. I want to know who this woman is and what she's doing! You and Kate did a great job collaborating to create this amazing cover!

TheChieftess said...

I'm definitely a book cover shopper!!! And I would definitely pick this book up!!! Great cover Petrea! Great job Kate!!!

Petrea Burchard said...

I'm loving the positive reactions! Like it or not, book covers sell books, or at the very least get people to look at them further. I have been guilty of deciding against a book simply because I didn't want anyone to see me carrying it...

So I'm glad (and not surprised) to hear that you like this one. I love it.

Bellis said...

I was imagining a woodland scene as in your initial idea for a cover photo, so this reveal came as a shock. But I think it's terrific, and it'll really catch the eye in a bookstore. It'll also attract a younger audience. Brilliant!

Adele said...

I love it!! Really eye-catching. Well done, ladies!

Petrea Burchard said...

Eye-catching is good. I want people to pick it up and consider reading it, which is what a book cover should do.

Margaret said...

I think it is just fabulous. It is really special. Kate is so talented, and I wish her -- and you-- the best.

Ms M said...

Fantastic cover! You and Kate did a great job. I enjoyed your interview with Kate, too. All the best to Kate in her career, and all the best to you with your new book!

Petrea Burchard said...

Thanks, everyone. I'm so happy with this cover. I hope Kate is, too. She should win awards with it.

Jilly said...

Wonderful! Such an arresting design- I'd have to pick it up, then I'd have to buy it!

Susan Campisi said...

It's gorgeous! I like Katie's choice of words: striking and sexy! I'm more excited than ever to read C&V now. Congrats to both of you!

Dina said...

Yes! This cover is so unusual and it really grabs you! A petite knight with lipstick, her horse looking worriedly off to who knows what ...

Well done, Petrea and Kate.

Shell Sherree said...

If I walked into a bookstore and spotted this cover, Petrea, I'd definitely pick it up for a closer look!! Katie has done a marvellous job at alluding to what lies within and sparking interest. You're a great team ~ I'm sure this is just the start of big things for both of you. And I can hardly wait for Camelot & Vine to come out!

Petrea Burchard said...

Wow. I posted the cover on my Facebook today; so far it has 50 likes!

I knew I loved it. I'm so glad others like it, too.

Anita Davison said...

Love your new cover, Petrea, very stylish and contemporary. This one added to my 'To Read' list

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you so much, Anita. Your "Royalist Rebel" is on my list too!

Speedway said...

I love the cover design, Petrea. She looks like a horseback heroine, more emancipated than she knows, who did not leave home without her lipstick. I find I feel I can conquer anything - men's hearts, snowy streets, recalcitrant bus drivers - just as long as I am wearing good lipstick. So maybe she will conquer the King's foes, warm their hearts and save the kingdom, too.

Petrea Burchard said...

I love your interpretation, Speedway.