Wednesday, October 24, 2012

First, A Recommendation

One of the things I never considered when I first started out as a full-time industry professional was the concept of product identity and trade dress. When I got to Last Unicorn, there were quite a few meetings held about what the product line would look like; we hadn't even finished writing the first book, and we were worried about the appearance of the line? I learned that this was an important consideration.

This goes beyond defining things like page-counts. To recap, in order to properly budget for a book's production, a game company closely defines the elements that go into a book. Page count, words per page, paper stock, cover type, even binding. That's the stuff I, as your humble line editor, was worried about, because a lot of it directly affected what I could do with a book. I cared about as much about what the cover's appearance as I do the latest Kardashian shenanigans.

If you're going to publish your own books, however, even if it's just in .pdf format, you really need to think not only about the individual product's appearance, but also what the entire line looks like. There's  a reason all Deadlands books had that shocking orange cover. How big will the book's title be on the cover? What font will you use? How big will your company logo be, and where will it be placed? Will you put the author's names on the cover? That's called your "trade dress." You should be able to look at your product on a shelf and instantly tell it's your product.

We haven't even discussed your corporate identity -- your logo, what font you'll use for your business cards, all that stuff the affects how you present your company.

All this is a long-winded way to explain the reasons why you need a graphic designer. If you're going to publish your own books, you likely gave this about as much consideration as I did back when I started at Last Unicorn; which is to say "none." I just happen to have a graphic designer to recommend to you. Her name is J Kovach. I suggest you visit her at Take a look at her work. Give her a call. See if she can help you with your graphics needs.

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