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STEWART A. WILLIAMS DESIGN
Art Direction. Typography. Typesetting
Design. Layout. Print & eBook.
Client: Sunnyoutside
So I had this cover all finished and ready to go when my hard drive failed this summer, and being the idiot I can be at times lost all the files. I then tried out something I’d never done before which was to take an old pdf version of this file I’d emailed the publisher of Sunnyoutside and opened it in Illustrator. I then went through each layer and painstakingly pulled the vectors out, copied and then pasted them into a new InDesign file, and I’ll be damned if it didn’t work and print just fine. No links on the preflight file either. Gotta love vectors. Other cover versions here. Client: Sunnyoutside
So I had this cover all finished and ready to go when my hard drive failed this summer, and being the idiot I can be at times lost all the files. I then tried out something I’d never done before which was to take an old pdf version of this file I’d emailed the publisher of Sunnyoutside and opened it in Illustrator. I then went through each layer and painstakingly pulled the vectors out, copied and then pasted them into a new InDesign file, and I’ll be damned if it didn’t work and print just fine. No links on the preflight file either. Gotta love vectors. Other cover versions here. Client: Sunnyoutside
So I had this cover all finished and ready to go when my hard drive failed this summer, and being the idiot I can be at times lost all the files. I then tried out something I’d never done before which was to take an old pdf version of this file I’d emailed the publisher of Sunnyoutside and opened it in Illustrator. I then went through each layer and painstakingly pulled the vectors out, copied and then pasted them into a new InDesign file, and I’ll be damned if it didn’t work and print just fine. No links on the preflight file either. Gotta love vectors. Other cover versions here. Client: Sunnyoutside
So I had this cover all finished and ready to go when my hard drive failed this summer, and being the idiot I can be at times lost all the files. I then tried out something I’d never done before which was to take an old pdf version of this file I’d emailed the publisher of Sunnyoutside and opened it in Illustrator. I then went through each layer and painstakingly pulled the vectors out, copied and then pasted them into a new InDesign file, and I’ll be damned if it didn’t work and print just fine. No links on the preflight file either. Gotta love vectors. Other cover versions here.

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Client: Bristol Park Books
If there’s anything I love it’s working on it’s historical books, and the Civil War in particular, I’m just fascinated with it, and it’s one of the reasons I live on the East Coast. When I got this assignment from Bristol Park Books, I headed over Library of Congress’s image resource archive, which has about a zillion wonderful free and primarily copyright-free images of the Civil War conflict in United States. This shit is fascinating, and they’ve done a stellar job at scanning these images it high-def resolutions so that you can use one image to spread across an entire hardcover dust jacket mechanical layout. More cover versions here. Client: Bristol Park Books
If there’s anything I love it’s working on it’s historical books, and the Civil War in particular, I’m just fascinated with it, and it’s one of the reasons I live on the East Coast. When I got this assignment from Bristol Park Books, I headed over Library of Congress’s image resource archive, which has about a zillion wonderful free and primarily copyright-free images of the Civil War conflict in United States. This shit is fascinating, and they’ve done a stellar job at scanning these images it high-def resolutions so that you can use one image to spread across an entire hardcover dust jacket mechanical layout. More cover versions here. Client: Bristol Park Books
If there’s anything I love it’s working on it’s historical books, and the Civil War in particular, I’m just fascinated with it, and it’s one of the reasons I live on the East Coast. When I got this assignment from Bristol Park Books, I headed over Library of Congress’s image resource archive, which has about a zillion wonderful free and primarily copyright-free images of the Civil War conflict in United States. This shit is fascinating, and they’ve done a stellar job at scanning these images it high-def resolutions so that you can use one image to spread across an entire hardcover dust jacket mechanical layout. More cover versions here. Client: Bristol Park Books
If there’s anything I love it’s working on it’s historical books, and the Civil War in particular, I’m just fascinated with it, and it’s one of the reasons I live on the East Coast. When I got this assignment from Bristol Park Books, I headed over Library of Congress’s image resource archive, which has about a zillion wonderful free and primarily copyright-free images of the Civil War conflict in United States. This shit is fascinating, and they’ve done a stellar job at scanning these images it high-def resolutions so that you can use one image to spread across an entire hardcover dust jacket mechanical layout. More cover versions here.

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Client: Storey PublishingBefore XMAS my wife and I took our son to play over a friend’s house a block away. While talking to the friend’s mom and getting a tour of the home, I see a few copies of the Soup Night book laid out on a bed with other obvious presents to be wrapped. I casually mention my involvement with that book and it ends up she’s was featured in one of the many profiles I’d designed and layed out that appear throughout the book. I remember reading about a someone in Pittsburgh while doing the layout and wondered if I knew them, but I must have had a brain-out and didn’t put it together. In any case, this was a big project that went through a bunch of cover permutations seen here. Client: Storey PublishingBefore XMAS my wife and I took our son to play over a friend’s house a block away. While talking to the friend’s mom and getting a tour of the home, I see a few copies of the Soup Night book laid out on a bed with other obvious presents to be wrapped. I casually mention my involvement with that book and it ends up she’s was featured in one of the many profiles I’d designed and layed out that appear throughout the book. I remember reading about a someone in Pittsburgh while doing the layout and wondered if I knew them, but I must have had a brain-out and didn’t put it together. In any case, this was a big project that went through a bunch of cover permutations seen here. Client: Storey PublishingBefore XMAS my wife and I took our son to play over a friend’s house a block away. While talking to the friend’s mom and getting a tour of the home, I see a few copies of the Soup Night book laid out on a bed with other obvious presents to be wrapped. I casually mention my involvement with that book and it ends up she’s was featured in one of the many profiles I’d designed and layed out that appear throughout the book. I remember reading about a someone in Pittsburgh while doing the layout and wondered if I knew them, but I must have had a brain-out and didn’t put it together. In any case, this was a big project that went through a bunch of cover permutations seen here. Client: Storey PublishingBefore XMAS my wife and I took our son to play over a friend’s house a block away. While talking to the friend’s mom and getting a tour of the home, I see a few copies of the Soup Night book laid out on a bed with other obvious presents to be wrapped. I casually mention my involvement with that book and it ends up she’s was featured in one of the many profiles I’d designed and layed out that appear throughout the book. I remember reading about a someone in Pittsburgh while doing the layout and wondered if I knew them, but I must have had a brain-out and didn’t put it together. In any case, this was a big project that went through a bunch of cover permutations seen here.

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Client: Timber Press
This is the first project I did for this new client, and they have a very strict, very tight process for design and production. Prior to any layout at all, I was given a list of fonts I could use and asked to put together a series of production elements such as color (I had two), and things like examples of other layout and elements I thought might work (but really ended up having nothing to do with anything) Normally I design like I do everything else in my ADD life, I try this, take out that, scan this, take out that, drop this in, take this out. It’s all about novelty for me and what’s entertaining at the time. I persevered, and eventually was able to craft a half-dozen comps for the cover and something for the interior. One was selected, the title subsequently changed several times and eventually I was able to finish the whole thing in a few months. The abstract image of pottery on the left of one of the photos shown was something of a my own little jolly. I’d needed something to fill that space and the client didn’t have nor were willing to obtain any more images. So I went to morguefile.com and downloaded some free amateur snapshot and dropped it in. No one ever asked where it came from. Client: Timber Press
This is the first project I did for this new client, and they have a very strict, very tight process for design and production. Prior to any layout at all, I was given a list of fonts I could use and asked to put together a series of production elements such as color (I had two), and things like examples of other layout and elements I thought might work (but really ended up having nothing to do with anything) Normally I design like I do everything else in my ADD life, I try this, take out that, scan this, take out that, drop this in, take this out. It’s all about novelty for me and what’s entertaining at the time. I persevered, and eventually was able to craft a half-dozen comps for the cover and something for the interior. One was selected, the title subsequently changed several times and eventually I was able to finish the whole thing in a few months. The abstract image of pottery on the left of one of the photos shown was something of a my own little jolly. I’d needed something to fill that space and the client didn’t have nor were willing to obtain any more images. So I went to morguefile.com and downloaded some free amateur snapshot and dropped it in. No one ever asked where it came from. Client: Timber Press
This is the first project I did for this new client, and they have a very strict, very tight process for design and production. Prior to any layout at all, I was given a list of fonts I could use and asked to put together a series of production elements such as color (I had two), and things like examples of other layout and elements I thought might work (but really ended up having nothing to do with anything) Normally I design like I do everything else in my ADD life, I try this, take out that, scan this, take out that, drop this in, take this out. It’s all about novelty for me and what’s entertaining at the time. I persevered, and eventually was able to craft a half-dozen comps for the cover and something for the interior. One was selected, the title subsequently changed several times and eventually I was able to finish the whole thing in a few months. The abstract image of pottery on the left of one of the photos shown was something of a my own little jolly. I’d needed something to fill that space and the client didn’t have nor were willing to obtain any more images. So I went to morguefile.com and downloaded some free amateur snapshot and dropped it in. No one ever asked where it came from. Client: Timber Press
This is the first project I did for this new client, and they have a very strict, very tight process for design and production. Prior to any layout at all, I was given a list of fonts I could use and asked to put together a series of production elements such as color (I had two), and things like examples of other layout and elements I thought might work (but really ended up having nothing to do with anything) Normally I design like I do everything else in my ADD life, I try this, take out that, scan this, take out that, drop this in, take this out. It’s all about novelty for me and what’s entertaining at the time. I persevered, and eventually was able to craft a half-dozen comps for the cover and something for the interior. One was selected, the title subsequently changed several times and eventually I was able to finish the whole thing in a few months. The abstract image of pottery on the left of one of the photos shown was something of a my own little jolly. I’d needed something to fill that space and the client didn’t have nor were willing to obtain any more images. So I went to morguefile.com and downloaded some free amateur snapshot and dropped it in. No one ever asked where it came from.

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Client: Sterling Publishing
This 476-page project for Sterling and Kodak, is along with The Scarecrow Video Music Guide is one of the larger coffee table books I’ve worked on. A book this size can take up to four months from start to finish, though this one was a particular challenge both in the truncated production schedule and managing my own time, which involved a solid week of laying out the entire book for first pass proofs. The initial cover process went through several permutations before the handsome embossed version with Pantone spot you see here.  Client: Sterling Publishing
This 476-page project for Sterling and Kodak, is along with The Scarecrow Video Music Guide is one of the larger coffee table books I’ve worked on. A book this size can take up to four months from start to finish, though this one was a particular challenge both in the truncated production schedule and managing my own time, which involved a solid week of laying out the entire book for first pass proofs. The initial cover process went through several permutations before the handsome embossed version with Pantone spot you see here.  Client: Sterling Publishing
This 476-page project for Sterling and Kodak, is along with The Scarecrow Video Music Guide is one of the larger coffee table books I’ve worked on. A book this size can take up to four months from start to finish, though this one was a particular challenge both in the truncated production schedule and managing my own time, which involved a solid week of laying out the entire book for first pass proofs. The initial cover process went through several permutations before the handsome embossed version with Pantone spot you see here.  Client: Sterling Publishing
This 476-page project for Sterling and Kodak, is along with The Scarecrow Video Music Guide is one of the larger coffee table books I’ve worked on. A book this size can take up to four months from start to finish, though this one was a particular challenge both in the truncated production schedule and managing my own time, which involved a solid week of laying out the entire book for first pass proofs. The initial cover process went through several permutations before the handsome embossed version with Pantone spot you see here. 

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Client: Milkweed Editions
This second project for Milkweed Editions this year had a similar period of exploration as My Green Manifesto, only in this case I went directly to archives such as the Library of Congress and Flikr to find by some miracle that stock agencies actually had something I wanted. There were some excellent early comps that came out of this project posted on my blog. Client: Milkweed Editions
This second project for Milkweed Editions this year had a similar period of exploration as My Green Manifesto, only in this case I went directly to archives such as the Library of Congress and Flikr to find by some miracle that stock agencies actually had something I wanted. There were some excellent early comps that came out of this project posted on my blog. Client: Milkweed Editions
This second project for Milkweed Editions this year had a similar period of exploration as My Green Manifesto, only in this case I went directly to archives such as the Library of Congress and Flikr to find by some miracle that stock agencies actually had something I wanted. There were some excellent early comps that came out of this project posted on my blog.

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Client: Slippery Rock University
For over a year now I’ve been toying with the idea of doing more illustrative work to keep things interesting for myself. As a person I’m a bit restless and need more and different creative diversions to satisfy my mental wanderlust. My friend Mark O’Connor—an English professor over at Slippery Rock University and adviser to their quarterly literary journal SLAB—asked me if I’d like to do one of their covers. Opportunities like this are good times for experimentation. I wanted something obtuse and enigmatic concerning the power of writing, and the cover came to me in segments, the idea of the book tower eventually becoming the focal point.
See my blog for other interesting endeavors. Client: Slippery Rock University
For over a year now I’ve been toying with the idea of doing more illustrative work to keep things interesting for myself. As a person I’m a bit restless and need more and different creative diversions to satisfy my mental wanderlust. My friend Mark O’Connor—an English professor over at Slippery Rock University and adviser to their quarterly literary journal SLAB—asked me if I’d like to do one of their covers. Opportunities like this are good times for experimentation. I wanted something obtuse and enigmatic concerning the power of writing, and the cover came to me in segments, the idea of the book tower eventually becoming the focal point.
See my blog for other interesting endeavors. Client: Slippery Rock University
For over a year now I’ve been toying with the idea of doing more illustrative work to keep things interesting for myself. As a person I’m a bit restless and need more and different creative diversions to satisfy my mental wanderlust. My friend Mark O’Connor—an English professor over at Slippery Rock University and adviser to their quarterly literary journal SLAB—asked me if I’d like to do one of their covers. Opportunities like this are good times for experimentation. I wanted something obtuse and enigmatic concerning the power of writing, and the cover came to me in segments, the idea of the book tower eventually becoming the focal point.
See my blog for other interesting endeavors.

View project

Client: Sasquatch Books
This monster was done by myself and one editor, who actually had the brunt of the work in editing the compiled reviews which came in from 67 different authors in various states of disarray. Formatting the text was no easy feat and I recall a long process of body text samples in order to find the right typeface that was small enough to for the book to come in at a reasonable 832 pages, while at the same time being legibly pleasant to read. Printed a light, almost newsprint paper stock, the books is surprisingly light for its size. Because of the constraints of having to use Scarecrow Video’s logo on the front, I’ve often thought the back cover was the stronger of the two. Client: Sasquatch Books
This monster was done by myself and one editor, who actually had the brunt of the work in editing the compiled reviews which came in from 67 different authors in various states of disarray. Formatting the text was no easy feat and I recall a long process of body text samples in order to find the right typeface that was small enough to for the book to come in at a reasonable 832 pages, while at the same time being legibly pleasant to read. Printed a light, almost newsprint paper stock, the books is surprisingly light for its size. Because of the constraints of having to use Scarecrow Video’s logo on the front, I’ve often thought the back cover was the stronger of the two. Client: Sasquatch Books
This monster was done by myself and one editor, who actually had the brunt of the work in editing the compiled reviews which came in from 67 different authors in various states of disarray. Formatting the text was no easy feat and I recall a long process of body text samples in order to find the right typeface that was small enough to for the book to come in at a reasonable 832 pages, while at the same time being legibly pleasant to read. Printed a light, almost newsprint paper stock, the books is surprisingly light for its size. Because of the constraints of having to use Scarecrow Video’s logo on the front, I’ve often thought the back cover was the stronger of the two.

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Client: 4 Walls 8 Windows
A pair of very old covers from the days of independent publishers like 4 Wall 8 Windows who parented these titles. I really enjoy working with violent or otherwise harsh imagery, and there’s a lot to be said for shock value in properly distributed doses. Being so intrinsic to our society we had to constantly come up with new ways to present violence because it was never going to go away. So here’s an example of violence as something fun and playful and cool, which neutralizes the reality of two people beating the hell out of each other. Client: 4 Walls 8 Windows
A pair of very old covers from the days of independent publishers like 4 Wall 8 Windows who parented these titles. I really enjoy working with violent or otherwise harsh imagery, and there’s a lot to be said for shock value in properly distributed doses. Being so intrinsic to our society we had to constantly come up with new ways to present violence because it was never going to go away. So here’s an example of violence as something fun and playful and cool, which neutralizes the reality of two people beating the hell out of each other. Client: 4 Walls 8 Windows
A pair of very old covers from the days of independent publishers like 4 Wall 8 Windows who parented these titles. I really enjoy working with violent or otherwise harsh imagery, and there’s a lot to be said for shock value in properly distributed doses. Being so intrinsic to our society we had to constantly come up with new ways to present violence because it was never going to go away. So here’s an example of violence as something fun and playful and cool, which neutralizes the reality of two people beating the hell out of each other.

View project

Client: Milkweed Editions
This was a nourishing project in so many ways. Firstly it was my inaugural assignment for Milkweed Editions as a new client, which I’d tried to land for some time; secondly it was a about a subject I’m pretty close to which is grass-roots environmentalism (the more mundane kind that never really gets any press, like going outside and picking up some of the 9 trillion tons of litter that’s all over the country, or planting some flowers in an alley—stuff like that), and thirdly I found out the beauty of using Flikr to find new artwork instead of wasting time with on warhorse stock agencies (which all seem to be owned by Getty in one way or another) that never seem to have what I want. I decided to look at Flikr for the hell of it. I love finding new talent, and if I saw something I liked, who wouldn’t want a few bucks for an photo they’d already shot. I found Taylar Hall, a nice young woman in Arlington Texas who had just the empty parking lot image I was looking for, and did a composite with and old illo from the Thomas Bewick archive, which all made sense to me in the context of author David Gessner’s ruminations on local green activism while canoeing down the Charles River.
Check out the blog for more work. Client: Milkweed Editions
This was a nourishing project in so many ways. Firstly it was my inaugural assignment for Milkweed Editions as a new client, which I’d tried to land for some time; secondly it was a about a subject I’m pretty close to which is grass-roots environmentalism (the more mundane kind that never really gets any press, like going outside and picking up some of the 9 trillion tons of litter that’s all over the country, or planting some flowers in an alley—stuff like that), and thirdly I found out the beauty of using Flikr to find new artwork instead of wasting time with on warhorse stock agencies (which all seem to be owned by Getty in one way or another) that never seem to have what I want. I decided to look at Flikr for the hell of it. I love finding new talent, and if I saw something I liked, who wouldn’t want a few bucks for an photo they’d already shot. I found Taylar Hall, a nice young woman in Arlington Texas who had just the empty parking lot image I was looking for, and did a composite with and old illo from the Thomas Bewick archive, which all made sense to me in the context of author David Gessner’s ruminations on local green activism while canoeing down the Charles River.
Check out the blog for more work. Client: Milkweed Editions
This was a nourishing project in so many ways. Firstly it was my inaugural assignment for Milkweed Editions as a new client, which I’d tried to land for some time; secondly it was a about a subject I’m pretty close to which is grass-roots environmentalism (the more mundane kind that never really gets any press, like going outside and picking up some of the 9 trillion tons of litter that’s all over the country, or planting some flowers in an alley—stuff like that), and thirdly I found out the beauty of using Flikr to find new artwork instead of wasting time with on warhorse stock agencies (which all seem to be owned by Getty in one way or another) that never seem to have what I want. I decided to look at Flikr for the hell of it. I love finding new talent, and if I saw something I liked, who wouldn’t want a few bucks for an photo they’d already shot. I found Taylar Hall, a nice young woman in Arlington Texas who had just the empty parking lot image I was looking for, and did a composite with and old illo from the Thomas Bewick archive, which all made sense to me in the context of author David Gessner’s ruminations on local green activism while canoeing down the Charles River.
Check out the blog for more work.

View project

Client: Sunnyoutside
Small presses with their limited budgets tend to give a lot of freedom, and I like that. I also like to support independent publishers because I think without them the literary world would seem a lot like Top 40 radio. This cover went through several permutations before deciding on this final version where I scanned an out-of-registration segment from a larger image in an old newspaper travel section from the 50s. 
Lots more stuff to see here. Client: Sunnyoutside
Small presses with their limited budgets tend to give a lot of freedom, and I like that. I also like to support independent publishers because I think without them the literary world would seem a lot like Top 40 radio. This cover went through several permutations before deciding on this final version where I scanned an out-of-registration segment from a larger image in an old newspaper travel section from the 50s. 
Lots more stuff to see here.

View project

Client: Source Books
This book went through so many permutations and cover designs that in the end I was probably making minimum wage. I’d already felt my first round of ideas (posted on my blog) had some excellent solutions, and for awhile the book headed in a very determined direction until out of the blue I was asked to completely redesign the cover. I’m one of those people who out of my own worst interest consistently gives 173% to whatever job I’m doing, someone tell me why I’m not a plumber. No doubt, there are times when you can do something 93 times and on that 93rd time make magic, and I think this cover is great (except for text lopsided praise text added after I turned the final files over and some other stuff on the final design that vanished), but in general, I’m with the Allen Ginsberg principle of “First Thought, Best Thought.” In general, it’s never a good idea for project to get strung out forever, lest it lose some essential chunk somewhere on the way that will always be the thing that doesn’t seem quite right.
Check out my blog for a wagon-load of unused versions for this title, and numerous other works. Client: Source Books
This book went through so many permutations and cover designs that in the end I was probably making minimum wage. I’d already felt my first round of ideas (posted on my blog) had some excellent solutions, and for awhile the book headed in a very determined direction until out of the blue I was asked to completely redesign the cover. I’m one of those people who out of my own worst interest consistently gives 173% to whatever job I’m doing, someone tell me why I’m not a plumber. No doubt, there are times when you can do something 93 times and on that 93rd time make magic, and I think this cover is great (except for text lopsided praise text added after I turned the final files over and some other stuff on the final design that vanished), but in general, I’m with the Allen Ginsberg principle of “First Thought, Best Thought.” In general, it’s never a good idea for project to get strung out forever, lest it lose some essential chunk somewhere on the way that will always be the thing that doesn’t seem quite right.
Check out my blog for a wagon-load of unused versions for this title, and numerous other works. Client: Source Books
This book went through so many permutations and cover designs that in the end I was probably making minimum wage. I’d already felt my first round of ideas (posted on my blog) had some excellent solutions, and for awhile the book headed in a very determined direction until out of the blue I was asked to completely redesign the cover. I’m one of those people who out of my own worst interest consistently gives 173% to whatever job I’m doing, someone tell me why I’m not a plumber. No doubt, there are times when you can do something 93 times and on that 93rd time make magic, and I think this cover is great (except for text lopsided praise text added after I turned the final files over and some other stuff on the final design that vanished), but in general, I’m with the Allen Ginsberg principle of “First Thought, Best Thought.” In general, it’s never a good idea for project to get strung out forever, lest it lose some essential chunk somewhere on the way that will always be the thing that doesn’t seem quite right.
Check out my blog for a wagon-load of unused versions for this title, and numerous other works.

View project