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Meet TSTC Publishing’s Design Interns

2 Jul

Creativity is a theme this summer with TSTC Publishing’s design interns. “The graphic design interns we have this summer come from a wide range of backgrounds and experience, but all share a passion for design and a strong work ethic that is vital in today’s job market,” said Projects Manager Grace Arsiaga. “We have had interns working in the office since 2004, when the office first opened, and they are a great asset to the company.”

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Book Publishing Personnel: DPCG, PUED and PMAN, Oh My!

5 May

Today is a time of great anticipation as we are putting the final touches on everything for our two-day site visit from the publishing consultant that kicks off at nine tomorrow morning. There is, however, some other personnel-related news to report as Grace Arsiaga—originally hired at as a desktop publisher/computer graphics specialist (DPCG)—has been recategorized as a project manager (PMAN) to oversee both book development and production. (Given that, we’re probably not going to fill our vacant publishing editor (PUED) position any time soon, if ever.) This wasn’t just a title change for Grace, however, as it also entails revamping the overall workflow in the office.

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Book Publishing Operations: Happier than a Pig in . . . Well . . . You Know!

17 Apr

Or, technically speaking, we were that happy Tuesday as we could finally say at our weekly department meeting that all the books for TSTC Waco bookstore had been printed, invoiced, and delivered. Currently, the Waco campus bookstore is by far our largest account so having their work done means a huge chunk of our work for this semester is done.

Since 2005 when we published our first two books we’ve always done three print runs a year—one each in the fall, spring, and summer—based on the book orders for an upcoming semester. That allowed us to update materials relatively easily while our inventory (and storage costs) stayed reasonably low. That, however, is all going to change this summer due to some workflow and production issues that have reared their ugly heads as our book list has grown.

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Graphics Interns: Bird’s Eye View Maps

28 Feb

waco_1892.jpgA couple of years ago I was fortunate enough—a little bit of luck combined with a skosh of foresight—to see an exhibition at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, of 19th century bird’s eye view maps of Texas cities like this one of Waco in 1892.

Then, as I am wont to do upon occasion, I had what I considered a really great idea . . . one made even more great by the having heavy lifting—so to speak—left to one or more of our graphics interns.

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Book Publishing Interns: The End (Of The Semester) is Extremely Nigh . . . Let’s Eat!

30 Nov

italian-food.jpegToday, as we do at the end of every semester, we had a luncheon for the interns and student workers that worked with us this fall. (All kinds of samples of past intern work can be found here.) And, once again, we had it had Gratziano’s, an Italian food restaurant in downtown Waco on Franklin Avenue in the restaurant complex across the street from the Hilton. For my and/or the school’s money, Gratziano’s has the best lunch buffet at the best price around and it’s always a treat to eat there, especially when it heralds the impending end to the semester as well. Many thanks for getting all this set up—including some lovely parting gifts for the interns—are due to Melanie Peterson, our new secretary these past two months, who is finally at the point where she doesn’t look quite so much like a deer caught in the headlights while getting a handle on the eight million things she’s been tasked to do.

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Meet the Book Designer: Steve Tiano

18 Sep

Anyone who reads our blog regularly will notice that freelance book designer Stephen Tiano is a frequent visitor and commenter. Recently, he was interviewed by Paula Berinstein at The Writing Show. (Listen to the podcast.) As she noted in her introduction about him:

    We can all recognize the importance and appeal of attractive product design. But with books, the right design affects much more than our aesthetic sensibilities.

    Book designer Stephen Tiano wrote when he was very young, penning his first study at the age of four. When he started school, the Catholic nuns who taught him, as luck would have it, were more interested in grammar and diagramming sentences than religion.

    Things were pretty well decided early on, he thought. But when he wasn’t a published novelist by the age of eighteen, and then twenty-one, he realized he needed to get serious about the next most reasonable work he could see himself doing: teaching English. He didn’t, however. Get serious or teach English.

    Steve’s first real job was as a copy editor and proofreader. He even did some indexing…using actual index cards. He drifted into freelance proofreading when the typesetter he worked for eliminated all employee benefits: medical insurance, sick leave, on-time paychecks that didn’t bounce.

    That’s when he decided that, if he had the tools, he could make books—or at least the files that a printer turned into books.

    And so he does.

    Please join Steve and host Paula B. as they weigh:

    * What’s the most important thing to consider when designing a book
    * How book design has changed over the last century–and why
    * Where new design trends originate
    * What a knockoff font is, and whether it matters if designers use one
    * How he would feel if someone offered him the chance to design books for cell phone delivery
    * Why book design is more important for the reader than you might think.

I’ve been reading Steve’s blog—in a couple of different iterations—for the last year and a half or so and he has many good things to say about the life of a freelancer in general and book design in particular. For anyone with an interest in these areas, I would highly recommend you visit his Web site and/or blog and/or listen to his interview at The Writing Show.


Book Design: Graphics Intern Tutorial #2

11 Sep

As the new semester is now underway, the new graphics interns are making good progress through the tutorials I assign. Lesson 2, designed originally by Katherine Wilson (my predecessor here at the office as a graphics specialist), deals with reproducing a schematic diagram in the drawing program we use, Adobe Illustrator CS2 (Creative Suite 2).

The interns are given a template of symbols to be copied and pasted into the drawing. The rest must be drawn using the skills developed in the Illustrator class all Advertising Design & Print Technology students at TSTC Waco must take before beginning an internship. The assignment sheet also lists the job specs that tell the interns what font, size, style, and stroke weight to use in the labeling of the schematic diagram. It is important to make sure this is correct during intern training because if one person builds a schematic/diagram incorrectly we lose time—and therefore money—by having to backtrack and fix mistakes that could have been avoided by paying attention to detail in the first place.

Finally, when the lesson is finished the intern saves the diagram as an EPS file and prints a copy to turn in. If any there are any corrections to be made they must be done before the intern may continue on to the next tutorial.


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