Valerie Damen

Author's Guide

Client: FriesenPress
Services Provided: Graphic Design, Illustration, Art Direction


FriesenPress envisioned their Author Guide to be constructed out of overlaying pieces of textured paper while being corporate, yet creative at the same time.


Author's Guide

Client: FriesenPress
Services Provided: Graphic Design, Illustration, Art Direction


I was approached by the management of FriesenPress to redesign their Author's Guide that would be formatted for both print and digital media. They requested the guide encompass bold and creative visuals that conceptually illustrate the journey of publishing. 


I faced three main challenges during the production of this project:

1. The client envisioned a design that incorporated paper and texture while emitting a corporate, yet creative vibe at the same time.

2. Designing visuals that could be formatted for both a single-page digital PDF and a hardcopy book.

3. The timeline was extremely tight — especially for a project that required cover artwork, customized interior images/infographics, and a full book interior to be created.


Before I was to even begin brainstorming/sketching or designing, I had to review and evaluate the mood board, project brief, and body copy that I had been provided by FriesenPress.

Since there were a lot of moving parts to the project and a lot of elements to take into consideration, I pitched that we should start off with the cover design first and then once we reach an approved visual direction, then the interior graphics could stem from the cover artwork itself. The management of FriesenPress loved that idea, and so the project started off with that piece.

Keeping into consideration all of the elements that FriesenPress requested, I brainstormed and sketched a variety of "success" themed layouts. Communication, writing and planning were some common themes threaded throughout my sketches, but two strong keywords resonated with me most: blueprints and rockets. I decided to run with the idea to construct a geometric rocket stylized in the form of a blueprint. I thought, "this idea symbolizes success, paper, thought, and creativity." I then sent the proof to the client and although the visual symbolism was on the right track, they told me that the stylistic approach just wasn't what they were envisioning. 

With that feedback in mind, I revisited my original blueprint rocket design and instead, constructed it out of paper shapes instead of outlined strokes on grid paper.


When I sent the revised cover artwork to the management of FriesenPress, they were blown away. They requested that the color swatches be slightly tweaked a bit, but that the design and direction were approved.


After the cover artwork was officially approved, I then had to assess and decide how those visuals were going to be extended into the interior layout and graphics.

I decided to integrate textured paper visuals into the masthead pages and use clean vector artwork for the interior infographics. Additionally, mockup-style photography was used for half/page images. The entire guide was formatted for both a single-page digital PDF and a hardcopy book.