Blog post by Erin McInerney
I am in the strange position of having fallen in the middle of my two career goals. As a young, young child, I wanted to be an illustrator. Drawing was all I ever wanted to do, and there are some days still where the only thing that feels right is putting pencil to paper. But time passes and creativity shifts. The older I became, the less I could express myself in images. Words felt more natural, and I leaned into that feeling. Soon, my wish was to be an author.
But authors—authors that are only authors and can afford to live and eat and raise families—are a rare, rare breed. I needed a backup plan. And I wanted a backup plan that I could enjoy. So I began to scour the world of publishing. Editorial work fell in my lap courtesy of writer friends. Acquisitional work was gained through volunteering. Still, neither were right.
It was when I took a class on book design and typography that I found something that felt natural. A melding of my two key interests. Book design includes cover art and illustrations, as well as the interior layout of chapters and front matter. An obvious appeal to my inner artist. My fascination with typography is a little harder to explain. Pages are made not just legible, but readable. It doesn’t seem like there would be a difference, but there is. It requires a human touch, a human eye. The amazing thing about typography is that it goes unnoticed when done well. You just keep reading along.
Through Ice Cube Press I’m able to take a step outside of the classroom and into the working world of book design and typography. One of many more steps, I can only hope.