Today, I am going to talk about design.
The design is the first thing you notice with a book. There is an enormous amount of information that gets communicated in that rectangular front cover. You’ve made a bunch of decisions in a split second regarding what the book is about, what you expect when you open the cover, and if the book is right for you.
In design, you make bets about what you think will attract the reader. They are informed by experience in the industry and knowledge of the customers, but they are still bets. And those decisions impact the reception the book gets at the launch.
With When Everyone Leads, we made several bets. We chose a bold yellow to catch the attention of prospects and build off a color palette that Kansas Leadership Center was already using. The title led us to the idea of presenting the title and subtitle as a single sentence with the goal of being interesting and presenting those words on the cover in a clear way. We pulled the design from the cover into the book itself using the same font family and yellow accents.
I asked Joy Panos Stauber, my long-time designer and friend, to talk about design as it relates to the books Bard Press publishes:
A book is a conduit. It creates a connection or conversation between an author and a reader. When designing a book, I want it to feel like the author, to embody their ideas, and create a great experience for the reader — a person who is picking up that book because they are looking for inspiration for, or a solution to, something.
Like all Bard Press books, we knew we wanted to create a book that is smart, distinct in its category, and not cookie cutter. Also something that would align with the author’s brand — because a book doesn’t exist in a vacuum; it supports their business growth.
When reading the draft manuscript, the book felt collaborative, human, and really optimistic about what people could accomplish together, if committed to practicing these leadership principles. Todd and his authors are always on board for a collaborative, iterative concept and design development process. That openness, exploration, and conversation is how I can get a deeper understanding about what’s truly different and special about a book and its message, and then help give it a tangible form that manifests those attributes.
Joy has a great page on her site about the work we have done with Kansas Leadership Center. You can see more about When Everyone Leads, Your Leadership Edge, and the upcoming title Your Leadership Edge Teaching Companion.