Art + Design

Design Desk: Goodbye from Our 2014 Summer/Fall Fellows

How is it the end of December already? Per usual, this time of year has arrived much more quickly than we expected and it is now time to wish our lovely 2014 Summer/Fall design fellows farewell. We are always impressed by our fellows, but I think I can speak for everyone here at Chronicle Books when I say that this was an exceptional group both for their design capabilities and their personalities. They were representative of what we hope for in our fellows: focused, professional, creative, hardworking, and friendly to boot. Ladies, you will be missed (except for Lisa—we’re excited to keep you around for another 6 months!). In celebration of their time at Chronicle Books’ headquarters, here are a few words from each of them about their experience:

From the Design Desk of Sally

How can a lifetime fit into six short months? During my time at Chronicle I have learned more than I ever thought was possible and made some truly wonderful friends. This office is such an inspiring place and the opportunities I have had here—designing the Fall 2015 Fellowship Poster, working on countless book covers, journals, calendars, and other special formats—have been tremendous experiences. While I have sincerely enjoyed every project sent my way, what has impacted me the most is the company of the crazy, intelligent, hilarious, kind, incredibly talented, and truly inspiring people I’ve gotten to know and work with every day. From impromptu lemonade stands, ridiculously elaborate Halloween festivities, to a thrilling late-night office break-in, there is no where else I would have rather been. Thank you for letting me be a small part of what makes this place so creative, passionate, intelligent and unique.


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Sally Carmichael
Publishing Design Fellow

From the Design Desk of Kelsey 

When one of my professors first told me about the fellowship, I knew it was my goal for post-graduation. One week after I completed the last course in my Master’s, I flew to the opposite side of the country to start this new adventure. It’s so strange now to think that this adventure must now give way to another! Every day here at Chronicle has been exciting—launch parties, visiting authors, champagne toasts, Frankfurter day, and the thrill of uploading final e-books that were total puzzles to get just right. I’ve grown so much in my ability to design reflowable and fixed-format digital content and consider UX on various devices under the wing of my supervisor, Kesha. She was never hesitant to hand me a challenging project, and for that I thank her! In the past six months, cookbooks, craft books, children’s books, and novelty books have all come my way, plus some Princeton Architectural Press and Disney/Pixar titles too. Because Chronicle’s range of content is so broad, my work here always felt new. Our weekly Design Lab pushed me into experimentation: designing format packaging, e-reader decals, and even an iOS app prototype. I feel so lucky to have worked as part of the Chronicle team and will miss everyone dearly, especially my Fellow Island co-habitants who all became fast (and no doubt long-lasting) friends.  Thank you, Chronicle, for teaching us what it really means to see things differently.

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Kelsey Coons
Digital Publishing Fellow

From the Design Desk of Amanda

The Publishing Design Fellowship has been a rewarding and amazing experience. Under the guidance of Emily Dubin, Michael Morris, Allison Weiner, and the uniquely talented designers in the Chronicle Books Design Department, I had the rare pleasure of designing and bringing books from manuscript to print. Over the past six months, I was given the opportunity to design books in almost all of the Chronicle publishing groups and entrusted with tasks ranging from simple editorial corrections and illustration to full design of a handful of titles on the Spring and Fall 2015 front list. 


I particularly enjoyed working with the editorial and sales teams on new acquisitions. Their insightful market research and experience focused and informed each book design and was invaluable to shaping audience driven aesthetics for each title. Design Lab, run by Michael Carabetta (creative director) and the ever-so-talented Ben Laramie (industrial designer), was also a terrific way to experiment with the book form and consider new arenas of book and format publishing.

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Regardless of subject or budget, the care, respect, and thoughtfulness given to each book by every designer and editor at Chronicle Books has been a pleasure to witness and participate in. It has been an unforgettable experience and one which I will remember fondly whenever I pick up a new book.

Amanda Sim
Publishing Design Fellow

From the Design Desk of Lisa

When I started my fellowship at Chronicle this past July, I was SO excited. Excited about the beautiful books I would be immersed in and the idea that I would have a hand in shaping them. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, from picture books to product packaging to diecut ornaments. Through all of these, I’ve come to understand how a title is developed from start to finish and that it takes a team of talented people to make it all happen.

Origami Playhouse, a pop-up dollhouse with instructions to fold your own origami furniture, by Huy Voun Lee, is one of the first projects I completed. I created the graphics for the house, designed the packaging, and even painted the little wooden dolls seen on the package itself!



Pool, by JiHyeon Lee, is a beautiful wordless picture book that was originally published overseas. I typeset all of the text in English and experimented with many possible alternative cover designs. In the end, we decided to use the original cover art. I think that was a smart decision!


These past six months have gone by incredibly fast. To Amelia Mack, Kristine Brogno, and Kelsey Jones, thank you for your guidance, your kindness and wealth of design knowledge. To Michael Carabetta and Ben Laramie, thank you for challenging us weekly in Design Lab and pushing us to “see things differently.” To my fellow Fellows, thank you for brightening my days. It has been an honor sitting next to you talented girls for the past six months. And a big thank you to everyone else at Chronicle as well: the designers, production designers, editors, marketers and everyone in between who work so hard to make Chronicle Books the amazing company it is. Happy Holidays and I look forward to working with all of you for another six months!

Lisa Schneller
Children’s Design Fellow

From the Design Desk of Noopur

When I was accepted as the next Marketing Design Fellow, I anxiously and neurotically got ready for my next big adventure (packing only the essentials for my cross country move: computer/sketchbook/pencils/markers, swim goggles, and glass tupperware?!) No matter how prepared I thought I was I never expected:

Countless amounts of giggling while photoshopping/collaging Grumpy Cat as a tourist to promote her next book.


Having so much fun making ribbons for the Summer Picnic cookie baking contest/hand lettering the company’s Summer Picnic invite.

Championing my own seasonal promotional photo-shoots where I was allowed to gather props and eat copious amounts of candy.


The most epic of Halloween celebrations.

A breath of fresh air every day from outdoor lunches by the water, city sights, seeing artists’ and designers’ files of books in the works, and a morning spent shooting the holiday video in the Presidio.

Lastly, new friends, mentors, and colleagues—a San Francisco family.

Thanks again to Laura and Liz for having me and your art direction—I have learned so much in such a short amount of time. Thank you Chronicle Books—you have left me surprised, inspired, and delighted.


Noopur Agarwal
Marketing Design Fellow

2014 Fall Design Fellows

Stay tuned to learn more about our new group of fellows starting in January! If you’re interested in becoming a Chronicle Books design fellow, check out our website for details on how to apply.

Meghan Nowell
Design Studio Coordinator

Meghan Nowell

Meghan Nowell

As Design Studio Manager, Meghan has fun bossing around designers on the weekdays and avoiding them on the weekend. She also enjoys wine, pretending to be artsy, and eating/making delicious food!
Meghan Nowell


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