Frank Netter is a name familiar to anyone now living who ever studied medicine. His medical illustrations are still in print. His daughter’s richly remembered biography was published in hardcover by a university press and was well received, but the author retained the rights to the softcover edition. She updated the text and added more color plates. The design challenge was to manage digital printing of a low volume of books with a substantial number of color pages and keep the cost within bounds so the book can be sold at a profit.
A fun book for a fun client. We kept the musical motif going, integrating it with both the text (it has a “Prelude” instead of a “Preface”) and the design. The author has made hundreds if not thousands of friends in the course of a long career that began with a random invitation from a friend. The book is not just about singing, though. It’s also about learning leadership skills in a networked world of voluntary nonprofits—lessons that can be valuable in many contexts. So the design brief was to be musicky but not too musicky.
Using twenty-first-century software to create an idealized simulation of seventeenth-century typography helps to immerse the reader in the subject’s life and evoke the period when he lived. This project presented a lot of enjoyable challenges: genealogical diagrams; complex tabular matter; hundreds of endnotes and footnotes; different typesetting styles for historical quotations than for narrative text; map work; image enhancement; five appendices; and even a bit of photography.