Solution Tree Press

I worked as a designer at Solution Tree Press for 7 years. While I was initially hired as a writer and editor, management quickly realized my design skills and transitioned me to the role of book designer (the first on-staff designer in their history). While designing for Solution Tree Press, I fine-tuned my text design process to improve efficiency and accuracy, earning the nickname “Speedy”.

I have included just a few samples of my designs below. (Text designs are available upon request.) See more cover designs here.

Please note that all work shown here is copyrighted by Solution Tree Press and used with permission.

For the Leading By Design cover, I was given the direction to use the authors’ 2D illustration of an action framework for PLCs. I recreated the image as a 3D element in Illustrator. This cover was chosen because the typography and simple color palette best suited the audience.
Design direction was simple for Head of the Class: Use one of the cartoons from within the text as the main image and make it “fun.” With the idea of working as a cartoonist might, I created custom lettering for the title, colored and scanned the cartoon, and created 3D colored pencils in Illustrator.
Since the author and editorial staff wanted to connect the 2nd edition of The Handbook for SMART School Teams through the use of a square pattern, this cover design started with several stock vector images that I customized to a color palette that connected it to the first edition and added a more modern feel to the cover.
After several designs for the cover of How to Teach Thinking Skills Within the Common Core were rejected, this project was passed to me with very little design direction. The final design was chosen in the first round of cover options, a rare situation in our department.

Text Design

As a designer at Solution Tree Press, I was also responsible for text design. In some cases, I would be able to design for books that I had designed the cover for, but in many cases, I was given a time-sensitive text design that had to connect to a coworker’s cover design. This was the case for both Differentiation & the Brain (red & blue) and 40 Reading Intervention Strategies for K-6 Students (blue & black). Each book design presented its own challenges, including creating illustrations, setting complex tables and figures, creating reproducible worksheets for use by teachers or students, establishing a clear visual hierarchy of headings, etc, while also creating a visually pleasing (but not distracting) and useful design.

Click here to view additional pages from Differentiation & the Brain or click here to view additional pages from 40 Reading Intervention Strategies.

Casebound Cover Design

While it was not glamorous, part of my job included creating casebound (hard cover) designs. This wasn’t always an easy feat as the foil had to be applied in one application. In order to avoid issues at press time, I had to simplify cover designs and adjust line weights to similar weights. I also had to calculate the width of a spine using a formula supplied by the printer and update the company logo to one that was optimized for foil stamping at specific spine widths.

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