19 May

Michael Hetherington / Passfield Press

Passfield Press is a literary press with a mandate to publish titles primarily by author Michael Hetherington. In affirmation of its tagline, generative disturbances at the margins—writing on the edge, three Passfield Press titles have been singled out for awards, including a Gold Medal.

The design brief for the four books on this page included making unique and distinctive covers as well as interior pages. Covers are finished with a soft touch laminate (featuring a scuff-resistant, nylon-based matte-laminate) for extra durability.

Gold Medal for Canada West Fiction: Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Awards
Finalist—literary fiction: Foreword Reviews’
INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards

The Playing Card

Another international book award winner! Criteria for the IPPY Gold Medal Award include design-related elements: first impression, cover design, and interior layout.

The Playing Card, is Michael Hetherington’s first novel, following two previously published books, including The Archive Carpet, which is composed of fiction fragments. (The Archive Carpet)

The Playing Card is about curiosity and the pursuit of knowledge; at the same time, it’s a playful, suspenseful, and experimental novel—a metaphysical mystery. The structure of this book is unique, based on a deck of 52 playing cards in four suits. It includes 52 chapters in four parts, along with two “joker” chapters and an “Inface,” a kind of preface set in after the first three chapters.

The cover features a painting by renowned French painter, Henri Matisse; with permission from his estate. Interior pages have chapter headings that push outside the body text margins; and page numbers vertically aligned to chapter headings, although these are set approximately one-third of the way down the page.

Find out more about The Playing Card at Passfield Press

Finalist in Foreword Reviews’ 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards.

Halving the Orange

The dark mystery behind Isabella’s confinement unravels slowly amidst quirky characters and intellectual hijinks. Who can she trust? What really happened to her mother? The truth comes at a high price, and in the end, Isabella must make a life-altering decision.

The cover features a painting by English Pre-Raphaelite painter, John Everett Millais; courtesy of National Museums Liverpool. To support and echo the novel’s setting at a medievalist college, chapter openings have an attractive ornamental filigree drop cap. The text font, which was originally intended for use in hand-setting limited edition books, is elegant, sophisticated, highly readable, and a beautiful match with the ornamental chapter openings.

Find out more about Halving the Orange at Passfield Press


Late one night when Adrian is nineteen, he risks climbing up into the green tower that operates the railway bridge spanning Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet. There, he encounters a mysterious naked woman who will haunt him for years to come. An undercurrent of violence and danger flows beneath the story, threatening to pull Adrian down out of his innocent existence into dark and murky depths.

Analogous to the dark and unnerving undercurrents throughout this novel, the cover features a distressed font and spine details. The old dock at Jericho Beach represents one of its main place settings. On the interior pages, heavy blocks at the chapter openings and the “spikey” text font further reflect the novel’s themes.

Find out more about Hooked at Passfield Press

The Archive Carpet

The author wrote fragments of fiction every day for 2500 days and later selected 600 for publication. The result is The Archive Carpet, “. . . a wild and wonderful ride over lands that are sad, funny, absurd, and scary.”

This is fiction, although the writing has a poetic quality. That meant the design challenge was to create an elegant book whose contents are arranged in 39 “chapters” aggregated into three parts. This required clear levels of hierarchy and plenty of white space to create smooth flow while also allowing each element to breathe and declare itself.

In response to the author’s desire to include in the Table of Contents (TOC) all fragment titles, plus chapter titles and parts opening pages, the TOC is set in two spacious columns, with page numbers shown only for the chapters. The result is a clean and uncluttered look, allowing easy navigation for the reader.

Find out more about The Archive Carpet at Passfield Press

19 May

The Unheralded Artists of BC

“The Unheralded Artists of BC, from Mother Tongue Publishing, is a beautiful, lively, and well-written series of ten books dedicated to introducing people to the many forgotten 20th-century BC artists and recognizing their artistic significance.”

The design brief for covers and interior pages included keeping a consistent look for the series, while also incorporating unique elements, such as poems in book number seven, The Life and Art of Harry and Jessie Webb. The glossy softcover bindings include French flaps. The interior pages feature generous margins and images of varied size placed throughout. A special design challenge is presented by the need to end each chapter on the last line of a recto (right-side) page for a smooth transition to the next chapter’s opening pages.

More about the series at Mother Tongue Publishing.

The Life and Art of Harry and Jesse Web

The Life and Art of Harry and Jesse Webb is number 7 in The Unheralded Artists of British Columbia and includes over 120 photos and artworks reproduced in colour and black and white, as well as poems written by the artists.

“Harry (1927-1995) and Jessie Webb (1930-2011) were among an influential group of artists, poets and musicians working in Vancouver in the 1950s. . . . [They] collaborated on a series of innovative progressive prints made with linoleum blocks. Their works were featured in exhibitions at the Vancouver Art Gallery and in publications throughout the 1950s. They were also very involved in the local jazz scene, designing posters for the legendary Cellar Jazz Club. . . . Their fascinating story is being told by their daughter for the first time.”

Finalist: Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize—BC Book Prizes, 2012

The Life and Art of Mildred Valley Thornton

The Life and Art of Mildred Valley Thornton is number 4 in The Unheralded Artists of British Columbia and includes 112 photos; colour and black and white. “During the Depression, her family moved to Vancouver where she [carved] out a unique career as a fiercely independent, adventurous and confident artist . . . she became an advocate for First Nations peoples and made important historical contributions to British Columbian art and culture.”

The Life and Art of Mildred Valley Thornton was a finalist for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize in the 2012 BC Book Prizes.

The Life and Art of George Fertig

The Life and Art of George Fertig is number 2 in the The Unheralded Artists of British Columbia and includes 150 photos in colour and black and white. “. . . Fertig was a Jungian, a symbolist, a socialist, and an outsider. But above all, he was an artist, struggling to survive in mid-century Vancouver, British Columbia. . . . Known as the “Moon Man,” [his] unique oil paintings range from early landscapes to large and powerful archetypal images and small numinous meditations on eternity. ”

Other books done for Unheralded Artists

The Life and Art of Ina D.D. Uhthoff: made the shortlist for the Victoria Butler Book Prize, 2013

19 May

Investing in Murder

The design brief, working in collaboration with Behind the Book, required a bold interior page design to reflect the novel’s riveting narrative, and an ebook compatible with all e-readers.

In this first novel in the Jason L. Riley series, Jason—having amassed a fortune for his clients and himself by successfully forecasting natural disasters and predicting commodity losses and gains—finds himself at the top of a short list of suspects in the disappearance of the yacht and millions of dollars of one of his clients, along with the client herself.

The cover design is by Sean Thompson / Behind the Book.

Find the print edition at Indigo.ca

Kindle ebook at Amazon

19 May

D.H. Wright

The design brief for these inter-connected erotica novels included the covers and interior pages for the print edition, along with the ebook to be compatible with all e-readers.

Quoted as Destiny

On Sunny’s wedding day, her mother, Daina, guesses that something is up. But when the moment arrives, Daina is completely blindsided. . . . The fears she’d been carrying—along with her secret—for over 20 years were now coming to fruition. Her treasured relationships with those she cared so much about, would never be the same.

Paperback and Kindle edition available on Amazon

That Quote was How it Began

The connection between Daina and Jake was instantaneous, electrifying in its intensity. . . . [A] sense of knowing teased her, but would remain elusive until both were well-entrenched in the relationship. But this is not your typical account of infidelity, affairs, or the “other woman.” The bond between them . . . continues in this lifetime.

Paperback and Kindle edition available on Amazon

Claudia Returns

When Claudia leaves her high school sweetheart, her adoptive parents, and country to explore her Israeli roots and culture she gets much more than the adventure she’s looking for. . . . [A]fter a seemingly chance encounter with a sadistic, manipulative man, Claudia’s life is changed forever and her journey becomes one of survival. . . . Whether Claudia will be strong enough to not only survive but overcome may well depend on the friends, family and the first love she left behind.

Paperback and Kindle edition available on Amazon

19 May

The Untethered Relationship

Interior page design by Jan Westendorp / Kato Design and Photo

Cover design by Greenleaf Book Group and Jan Westendorp / Kato Design and Photo

“ The Untethered Relationship will help you be better to yourself, your partner, and your family. By taking charge of your own happiness, striving for emotional maturity, and embracing your true self, you can . . . experience more fulfilling relationships in every aspect of your life.”

Author Chris Moon, is a life coach, lecturer, and workshop facilitator in North America and Asia. His books on relationships, consciousness, and non-duality have reached hundreds-of-thousands of readers. Contact Chris through his website at Vision Mountain Leadership Training, Inc.

Available from Amazon

19 May

Youth Firesetter Intervention Manuals

The design project involved the cover and page designs on letter-size paper for a 3-ring binder format.

Youth Firesetter Intervention Manual is a two-volume manual used by fire safety professionals working with young firesetters and their families to prevent this dangerous behaviour. It’s published by the Justice Institute of British Columbia for the Office of the Fire Commissioner of British Columbia.

Availability is limited to the professionals who use the manual for their fire safety and protection work.

19 May

Becoming Who You Want to Be

This assignment was for the cloth hardcover, embossed dust jacket, and interior page designs—including tables, graphs, illustrations, and photos in black and white.

“[As a young man] in Hong Kong, Albert Cruz was undisciplined, discouraged, and unmotivated. Determined to change, he embarked on a vigorous quest to take charge of his life. . . . Becoming Who You Want to Be traces Albert’s journey and introduces readers to [his nine simple guidelines and the specific goal-setting] practices that helped him achieve success. After forty years of goal setting, Albert has checked off most items on his wish list, including higher education and financial independence. . . .”

Available at Google Books