Sue Campbell has been a: roller skating champion, frosty-rootbeer mug-washer, tomboy, graphic designer, mom, wife, writer, younger, goatherd, domestic diva, world traveler, avid reader, birder, photographer, cheesemaker, poet, pauper, princess, queen …
In all seriousness, I am a freelance book designer working with a small to medium-sized publishers, and independent authors. I have been a graphic designer for over three decades, and in book design/packaging for more than sixteen years. Given all the kinds of graphic design jobs out there—for me, nothing is better than packaging the words of a writer in a way that enhances their beauty, reinforces their message, assists understanding, and sets a tone for the experience of the reader.
Book jackets or covers are designed to be beautiful, or sometimes purposefully dissonant, but they definitely do have an effect on the sales of the book. Indeed they create an expectation for what kind of reading experience the book will be. They are very important for the success of the book—and designing a great cover is challenging. It’s not so much what to design, as eliminating the other possibilities, leaving just the right choices. Book design doesn’t end with the cover or jacket, though. I do all of the interior design and production, manuscript prep, typesetting/formatting, image editing, and image prep, or creation.
In addition to the many “mostly text” books I work on, I also work on illustrated pictorials such as histories. Those are my specialty and particularly fun to do—children’s books too.