The problem: Making good design repeatable.

The Manhattan-based guidebook publisher had published a single edition of one title when I join their team in 2000. For the next five years, I worked extensively to refine and standardize their design and process.

The problem was not so much a design one; many elements were already determined. However, for a tiny company with a growing list, they needed to standardize the design in a way that would allow for easy annual updates to existing titles, as well as a smooth process for new ones. For the second edition of their first title, I cleaned up the design and built an extensive set of style sheets to accommodate the various standard sections and book sizes.

Perhaps more importantly, I built a database backend to feed the thousands of listings for each book into tagged, importable files, making the process of updates nearly seamless, and eliminating the need for regular designer (and sometimes even production artist) input.

By the end of my tenure with the firm, they had created twelve titles, each updated annually. Much of the day-to-day production work was able to be done by interns.

I received a number of awards for this series, including:

  • Print magazine — 2001 Regional Design Annual.
  • Step-By-Step Graphics — 2002 Design Annual.
  • I.D. magazine — 2002 Design Review.
  • Art Directors Club — 2003 Distinctive Merit Award.
  • D&AD (Designers & Art Directors) — 2004 Silver Award, Most Outstanding Complete Book Design.