Responses by Jennifer Morla, author/designer
Background: Morla : Design includes more than 120 examples of projects I created over the course of 40 years for companies such as Levi’s and Design Within Reach, and cultural institutions such as the Mexican Museum and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The book offers insight into my sources of inspiration, my design approach and my thoughts on how design can influence society. Morla : Design will be distributed to Kickstarter backers in January 2019.
Reasoning: The book is not necessarily a linear read; it can be opened and accessed arbitrarily. It is my hope that the book will be of interest to both left-brain and right-brain thinkers, as being a graphic designer makes use of that middle space—one that rejoices in conceptual solutions that have pragmatic applications.
Challenges: I anticipated that it would have been designing the book itself, as I incorporate a vacuum-formed cover, debossed pattern, white ink on vellum overlays and florescent inks. But instead, my biggest challenge was writing text that was not client facing, but instead detailing the creative process in a way that entertains and inspires the reader.
Favorite details: Designing and creating 430 pages that engages the reader from beginning to end. Features in the book include personal essays on the differences between design and fine art, the value of the quick sketch, the process of embracing accidents and the importance of instilling diversity in design solutions. Also included are 26 pages dedicated to my favorite typefaces, as I begin my creative process by investigating whether the solution can be solved through the use of type.
Specific demands: The book features full-bleed, ten-by-ten inch images, which will be printed on a stochastic press. Although I have been diligent in documenting work, issues arose when the state-of-the-art high-resolution captures from 2000 were not good enough for the reproduction quality of the book. Whenever possible, the publisher, Letterform Archive, requested the original printed piece, which its photo team shot to ensure project color and detail.
Anything new: I learned how to write a story. Verbal stories that come easily to me over dinner with a glass of wine were not as easy to translate to the written page. Writing twenty essays, which took a year to complete, had many re-writes as I got more facile with the art of storytelling.