Design Desk

From the Design Desk: The A to Z of the Chronicle Books Fellowship

Every six months Chronicle Books grants six-month Fellowships to recent design school graduates. It is the perfect opportunity for young designers to get their feet wet in the publishing world, and to gain experience at such a great company. Sadly, December marks the end of another Fellowship term and, as a goodbye, the Fall 08 Fellows thought we would put together a list of what it means to be a Fellow at Chronicle Books.

A is for Archive room
A very fun thing for a new Fellow to do is to peruse the Chronicle archive room, which contains a copy of everything published in the company’s history.

B is for Book factory
The Fellowship is advertised via posters in design schools. This year Allison and Grace felt it was important to give an accurate representation of what the inside of Chronicle’s office looks like.

C is for Chronicle events
A big part of Chloe’s Industrial design fellowship was to coordinate the details of Chronicle’s presence at trade shows and events.

before:

after:

D is for DIY business cards
Waiting for us on our first day was a big box of blank business cards that we could personalize when we found ourselves hobnobbing with San Francisco’s design elite.

E is for Eyeglasses
Chronicle’s logo is an ever-present theme. After spending some time here, you see things differently.

F is for Festivities
In between work hours, Chronicle Books has many festivities, including picnics, parties, guest lectures, bagel breakfasts, movie nights, hot dog days, etc, etc, etc.

G is for Gnomes
We managed to keep it a pretty good secret, but the Fall 08 fellows are actually gnomes who disguise ourselves all year-round to look like normal people. On October 31st when everyone else was dressed in costume we came as our regular selves, and none was the wiser.

H is for Halloween
Speaking of Oct 31st, that day is a pretty big deal ’round these parts. Even though us Fellows weren’t dressed in costume, we still managed to be a part of the design department’s prize-winning Halloween enchanted forest festivities.

I is for Island
Everyone in the office describes where we sit as “Fellow Island,” but truth be told, it’s more accurately described as a peninsula.

J is for Jargon
Words like galley, FPO, mechs, key title, bellyband, ancillary, blow-ups, gatefolds and front matter are now a part of our day-to-day vocabulary. Jealous?

K is for Kiss cut
This term is so pleasing that it deserves its own post. During the day it means to diecut the top layer but not the backing of self-adhesive paper, and is used for creating stickers. When the lights come down, it’s the name of at least three of the Fall 08 Fellows’ hardcore metal bands.

L is for Lab, Design
Design Lab is an integral part of the Fellowship. This is our workshop where we meet with Michael Carabetta, Chronicle’s Creative Director, and brainstorm about materials, form, and books, and develop new and exciting concepts that could possibly compliment Chronicle’s existing catalog.

M is for “Make it Pop”
If there’s one thing that all design fellows learn while at Chronicle Books, it’s to “Make it pop.” Ka-pow!

N is for No Cute Zone
In an attempt to expand our vocabulary, Fellow Island was declared a no “cute” zone. Also discouraged was saying “for sure” in agreement; “most def” is the preferred alternative.

O is for Oatmeal
The breakfast of Champions; the Fellows’ fuel. Where would we be without a warm morning meal?

P is for Puppy Cam
Like the rest of the world, the Fall 08 Fellows could not resist the adorable vortex that is the Puppy Cam. Like the Shina Ibu 6, the Fall 08 Fellows have grown and it’s now time for us to put down the gigantic stuffed carrot and move on.

Q is for My Quotable Kid
In Grace’s publishing fellowship, she designed this handy journal for keeping track of your funny kids.

R is for Resumé
This stint will make a great addition to each of ours.

S & T is for Show & Tell
The weekly design meeting where new projects are shown and discussed is one of the highlights of the Fellowship.

U is for the Ultimate Card Game Book
During Allison’s publishing fellowship, she learned everything she could possible need to know about playing cards while she designed this essential resource.
(Pattern illustrated by Arthur Mount)

V is for Vunce Upon a Time
Lizzie built this promotional piece for Vunce Upon a Time by J.otto Seibold and Siobhan Vivian, a scary-cute children’s book about a vegetarian vampire. The kit included instructions on how to be a vampire and a template for a jack-o’-lantern with fangs.

W is for What do you see Under the Sea
Molly worked on this interactive children’s book, turning paint swirls into an underwater world. (Fishy stickers to come!)

X is for X-Acto
Used extensively by the fellows for making up those mockups! Be careful with these as they are very sharp, right Chloe?

Y is for whY did we decide to do an alphabet…?
Some letters just don’t write themselves!

Z is for Zzzz’s
As in, time to get some.

Happy Holidays from the Fall 08 Design Fellows. We’ve “most def” had the best time at Chronicle Books!

Molly Baker – Children’s Design
Lizzie Crowely – Marketing Design
Chloe Fung – Industrial Design
Grace Partridge – Publishing Design
Allison Weiner – Publishing Design

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