Art + Design

The Chronicle Books Design Fellowship: Poster Design + Process

Each year, as we prepare to recruit for the next Design Fellowship session, we ask our current fellows to design a promotional poster calling for submissions. As a project for Design Lab, each fellow comes up with a poster concept and carries it through to a final design. A panel of judges from our design department selects one concept to move forward and be produced. (For a look at some past posters and more details on the history of our fellowship posters as a whole, check out this blog post.)

This year I am excited to present a poster that was a collaboration between two of our fellows, Lizzie Vaughan and Patrick Keville. Their poster was chosen for its visually stunning, sophisticated, and gender neutral design. We also loved the dynamic between 2D and 3D forms and their nod to California with the beachy color palette used. Given the unique concept and design, I thought it would be interesting to hear more about the process behind the poster, so I asked Lizzie and Patrick to fill me in on how their poster came to be. See below for a behind-the-scenes look at the design process from Lizzie. 

2017 Chronicle Books Design Fellowship


Makers, objects, and materials of all kinds are celebrated at Chronicle Books! Along with the energy surrounding books, graphic design, and illustration, we (as fellows) are also encouraged to conceptualize new products, games, and work off-screen. Patrick and I decided to collaborate on this poster when we realized we both wanted to show that exciting side of the fellowship. Patrick is an industrial designer and I am a graphic designer, so our skills meshed perfectly.

The Letters

We made letters out of thin chipboard using the laser cutter here at the office. We then hot-glued little wooden legs to the bottom of each character at varying, wobbly heights to create interesting planes, shapes and shadow.

2017 Chronicle Books Design Fellowship

The Photographs

So. Much. Patience. These little letters were fussy to set up! Once we perfected the layout and the kerning IRL, we used the flashlights on our phones to create interesting shadows—taking tons of photographs along the way.

2017 Chronicle Books Design Fellowship

Chronicle Books Design Fellowship 2017 Poster

The Layout

We selected our favorite photos and played with color and layout. Below are some of the image treatments we explored, like halftones and gradients. After a few critiques and feedback from the rest of the Chronicle Books design department, we went with a sunny California-vibe gradient.

2017 Chronicle Books Design Fellowship

2017 Chronicle Books Design Fellowship

Typeface: AG Old Face
Printer: Offset printed by Calitho

Thanks to everyone at Chronicle who helped in the process!

Chronicle Books Design Fellowship 2017

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Per the amazing GIF above, if you’re interested in learning more about our Design Fellowship program be sure to check out our website or these blog posts from the past.

Be sure to keep up with our fellows Lizzie on her website and Patrick on Instagram, and stay on the lookout for our latest poster in the wild!

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


1 Comment

  • Marty February 3, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    I love the billboard feel of this poster. I love to do art that is hands on so seeing the letters with legs glued on is almost as fun as doing it despite the fussy work part. Kudos to the design team. Collaboration paid off! Congratulations!


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