Louise Evans is one of the well-deserving winners of The Unsung Heroes of Publishing 2018. We asked her a few questions about her work as a designer and her favourite projects so far. For a complete list of #UHoP18 winners please see more here.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your work. Did you always want to be a designer?
As a child as soon as I heard the term ‘art school’ I knew that I wanted to go there, whatever it was… I arrived absolutely certain that I wanted to be an illustrator. In the third week though we were tasked with tracing over 12pt Times New Roman type to learn about the letterforms, and then design our own book. That was it for me; my love of books and my love of visuals connected and I joined the ‘design for publishing’ class.
You’ve worked on some great cookery books for Ebury Press. Do you have a personal favourite?
I’ve been lucky enough to work on some really lovely projects – the most recent one is usually my favourite! However, a stand-out is the ‘The … Cookbook’ series, which began with The Avocado Cookbook and currently numbers five titles. It’s always a pleasure to see what Heather Thomas (the wonderful author) can come up with for a single hero ingredient!
What do you regard as the most challenging and the most gratifying aspect of book design?
Devising a system that provides for all the necessary variables of a text, and at the same time enhances the mood that it conveys. It’s so gratifying, once a system is set up, to see it being flexible enough to accommodate any unforeseen material! I suppose it’s a bit like how an architect must feel, seeing people using their building for the first time.
Do you have one piece of advice for any up-and-coming designers wanting to work as freelancers?
I would say that the best thing you can do is to show people that you can do it, so get good images of your work out there. And be as understanding and flexible as possible once you get the job!
What is the best book you’ve read lately?
Right now I’m reading Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost – I absolutely love the way she draws from such wide references and experiences to connect themes, reflecting on them in ways that seem very new and open.
You can find Louise Evans here.