This month we hear from Design Manager, Terry Woodley, who manages a team of designers in charge of making our book covers at Bloomsbury Academic look beautiful. Read about Terry's typical day and the life of working in the design office here:
1. What do you do on a typical day?
A typical work day tends to be pretty varied but always really busy with a personal workload of approaching 200 covers to be designed to strict schedules over the course of a year. I have a staff of seven designers and we are each responsible for the cover design for one or more Academic subject areas, my own being Education, Theology, Sociology and Ceramics plus certain Business and Reference titles. Regular meetings with Editorial – to discuss new and ongoing projects, and Production – to monitor the progress of those projects, are part of a typical day. I design the majority of the covers for my lists though a percentage will be outsourced to freelance designers. Cover briefs are received from Editors and then it is a case of briefing a freelance designer or sitting down for some creative time to come up with initial ideas. Much time is spent online at this stage looking at the competition and for inspiration, typefaces, doing picture research or sourcing suitable illustrators. A range of initial designs are submitted to the Editor from which one may be approved for uploading to our database or for further work. I receive a vast number of work samples from designers, illustrators, photographers and picture libraries so I will spend part of the day reviewing and responding to these. I also spend a significant amount of time maintaining title records (budget, progress of cover design, image rights etc) on our company database.
2. What’s your favourite part of your job?
The favourite part of my job, apart from the creative process itself, has to be the satisfaction of seeing delivery of a book which I have contributed to, particularly when the cover design is well received. The other great thing about publishing is the people I have met. I consider myself very fortunate to have worked with so many amazing people, both work colleagues and freelance designers, illustrators, authors and editors.
3. What do you least like about your job?
There are no terribly onerous parts to my job but it is never easy to have to reject work from another designer if it is not of the required standard, and not great having your own work rejected of course. The volume of administrative work now required can be frustrating, as it is less time spent actually designing, but it a necessary part of effectively handling such a large number of titles.
4. What’s your current favourite after-work activity?
Living well outside London my after-work opportunities are somewhat limited but it is always good to meet up with ex-colleagues I know from my time in publishing and I actually enjoy the commuting time as a chance to do some reading or listen to music. I will sometimes support my local football team at an evening game but most of all I love a visit to my local pub on a Friday night without the prospect of an early start the next day.
5. Did you always want to work in publishing?
My college training covered many aspects of design and printing, including publishing, but it was clear to me quite early on that I had a particular interest in books. I felt that I was suited to publishing and it suited me and I saw it as being at the more civilised end of the design spectrum, with an enduring and worthwhile end product. It is almost all I have ever done, apart from a short period designing packaging, so I have little to compare it with as an occupation but I like to think I made a good career choice.
See our new Education catalogue to take a look at some of Terry's beautiful work on our book covers.
Come back next month to hear from William Coffing, a Junior Account Manager based in our US sales team.