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Christmas Eve, Referenced

I will take a leap of faith and think that you haven’t yet grown tired of our Graphic Design Referenced posts here on Speak Up. In part, sure it helps promote it, but more than that I think having this relative transparency about the process of making a book is remotely interesting. At the very least, it is highly therapeutic for me to write about it. And today’s post, on Christmas Eve no less, couldn’t come at a better time and with the most satisfying of milestones completed. Around 3:00 pm today, after three months of 5:30 am alarms at UnderConsideration headquarters, Bryony and I have finished a) writing the more than 115,000 words that comprise the book and b) completed the first pass of laying out 400 pages (which Bryony, by the way, single handedly did) that need to accomodate more than 2,000 images.

Graphic Design Referenced Binders

Three binders with more than 1,500 grants of rights forms.

GDR List

GDR List

The last laundry list, sides A and B, of entries remaining to be written and images to be gathered. You may click on the images for bigger views if you are curious.

After submitting an initial chunk of text, somewhere around 75,000 words, in early August we still had a quarter of the book left to write. Of course, we had left the harder entries for the end, or those that we still didn’t have images for, so the last four months have been pretty grueling with the added pressure of running our blogs and maintaining our client deadlines. At one point, while I was doing one lecture every month, I found the hectic airports to be some of the most relaxing moments. Even Maya’s 2:00 am wake up calls were a proper diversion. This past month was complete overdrive in writing and designing, and somehow we managed to finish today. We’ve exported the massive PDF, will ship it online through FedEx Office and pick up a bound copy in Houston where we will be Holidaying with my parents so that we can review the pages. When it is all said and done, the book needs to go to the printer at the beginning of February and there is still plenty of work to do between now and then, but we’ve passed the biggest hurdle. And even though we are a little numb from all the work, we can sense some excitement somewhere within our tired brains.

Perhaps one thing that has kept us going, other than the deadline and the need to simply finish this, is a dummy that Rockport Publishers put together a few months ago. It sits in our shelf with our other reference books, serving as a kind of magic ball through which we can see the future of the book sitting in other people’s shelves. The dummy is an exact replica of what will be the finished product: 400 pages, Smythe sown so that it lays flat and, our favorite part, a plastic jacket printed in black that reveals the printed hardcover. It keeps us going. And we surely need it. After this first design pass we are finally seeing what will inhabit the blank pages of that dummy and we are surely biased but it looks pretty darn awesome. Hopefully it is.

Graphic Design Referenced Dummy

Graphic Design Referenced Dummy, Detail

And… exhale… I’m telling you, this is therapeutic. Happy holidays and the best for the new year to everyone.

Maintained through our ADV @ UnderConsideration Program
PUBLISHED ON Dec.24.2008 BY Armin
Jason Puckett’s comment is:

Armin & Bryony,
This looks really great. And the process seems daunting. Thank you for keeping us abreast of the book and for sharing some of the details. I'm extremely excited about this and wish I could have put it on my Christmas list. Enjoy your holidays in Texas.

On Dec.24.2008 at 10:25 PM
Jon Dascola’s comment is:

Im going to be extra good now with hopes of getting a copy from Santa next year.

On Dec.25.2008 at 09:22 PM
Niki V.’s comment is:

Wonderful! Thank you for including all of us in this process. It will make the book all that more special.

On Dec.26.2008 at 03:13 PM
Robynne’s comment is:

Really cool. Looking forward to having your book in our design library. Enjoy your break....xxx R

On Dec.26.2008 at 08:03 PM
Peter Whitley’s comment is:

I just wrapped up my book as well, albeit final edits, and the distinctive sensation of picking out commas and tweaking H&Js is still fresh...though the term "raw" seems more suitable.

Congratulations on your book! I'm so buying one.

On Dec.28.2008 at 10:57 AM
debbie millman’s comment is:

Congratulations and Happy Holidays to you, my dear, dear friends.

On Dec.28.2008 at 11:44 PM
Lorraine’s comment is:

Oh, I can't wait to set it on my shelf: keep it up!

On Dec.29.2008 at 04:31 PM
*cg’s comment is:

What an accomplishment, you guys keep inspiring me everyday! Happy Holidays.

On Dec.30.2008 at 05:42 PM
Beth Tondreau’s comment is:

Wowsers. Compiling the Grants of Rights alone is an impressive task. The amount of info, eye-catching plastic jacket, Maya, blogs, and clients added to normal life amount to a huge coup. Congrats and Happy New Year, BAM!

On Dec.30.2008 at 07:07 PM
darrel’s comment is:

I hate the jacket...because it's nice!

I usually hate the dust jackets and toss them as remnants of the packaging so I can put the book on the shelf in its natural state.

But, damnit...I'll need to keep this jacket.


On Dec.31.2008 at 01:30 PM
Ricardo Cordoba’s comment is:

Thanks for sharing the ongoing process! The other day I got to check out a copy of Women of Design, and it looks great! Looking forward to this book, now.

On Dec.31.2008 at 02:22 PM
Sizzle Creative Agency’s comment is:

Well done guys keep up the good work

On Jan.05.2009 at 10:24 AM
Bruce’s comment is:

Congrats on the new book. I look forward to reading it.

On Jan.06.2009 at 09:05 AM
Nicole Pacampara’s comment is:

I love your posts about this book. Don't stop!

Looking forward to reading it once it's finally out.

On Jan.19.2009 at 10:27 AM