Limehouse Design : This Is What I Do – By Emily Foster

As a fellow creative, you will understand that not everybody understands us.

Since finishing university and making my first proper steps into the world of work, I am often asked what it is I do now. For an elderly relative, it is enough to state briefly that I am working in publishing (books have been around a long time). For my friends outside of the creative industry, this might not be enough; to them, I am the Graphic Designer, and sole creative person of the group. Even though they’re not sure what this truly means, the title seems to satisfy them.

But none of this is enough for my creative friends, nor enough for the Creatabot readers, I feel. The other creatives always seem to ask more questions; they need to know exactly what and how and why. They need the specifics. Luckily, ours is a sharing community, so here I plan to share exactly what it is I do, design-wise, at Limehouse Books.

So what is it that I do? And what does that involve?

First, the obvious. I create covers, and lay out the text, of the books. This involves some direction from my boss, the Managing Director of Limehouse Books. It involves accurate page sizes with bleeds and margins, and exporting to pdfs. It involves liaising with printers and pre-press teams who check (note: check, not fix) your file for you.

What else? There’s design for a purely digital purpose. The Limehouse magazine, for example, which is released online-only, and various digital catalogues. All of these can be seen here: http://www.slideshare.net/limehousebooks. There’s also a few other, little pieces that need to be done. Creating pack shots of books to go on our website, for example, or making an advert as a banner to go on another website. A desktop wallpaper, an event flyer, a cover image for Facebook.

However, all this stuff is still pretty standard. Loads of other companies manage their own creative output just fine. One of the hardest things about working for Limehouse is that we don’t do this with an experienced production team. We do this just us. Just me – the fresh-faced design graduate, not too much experience but eager to learn – and the Managing Director – smart but still doesn’t understand what a baseline grid is.

This sometimes makes for a very scary working day. At the moment we are preparing our next VIB – Very Important Book – to send to print. This project is different as we are producing it in collaboration with another company – so there are more people to potentially disappoint. If this wasn’t enough, we are printing not our usual two thousand copies, but ten thousand copies of this book. If this goes wrong, it will be all our (read: my) fault.

And why am I telling you all this?

I share all this for you to understand. If you feel like you’re in over your head – don’t worry, so do we. We learn as we go along. Being a designer, especially at Limehouse, is much more than knowing Indesign inside out. It’s about having motivation, about listening and learning all the time. Half of what I do now, I didn’t even dream of this time last year. And I hope I still feel the same in another year’s time. 

By Emily Foster

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/emilyjaynefoster

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The Art Of Publishing – By Emily Foster – Entry 1

I’ve been working in publishing for eight months now and one thing I’ve learnt is that there are lots of potential authors out there. It seems like every event I attend there’s an author in the making to meet, and every week I receive new emails from people pitching their prose.

Take last week for example – I was at a networking event chatting to the host when she introduced her friend, who just happens to have written a book. He launched into his spiel about a how-to guide to get into the games industry.

By now, this kind of conversation is nothing new to me. Usually I give some advice, but the response is always the same: “Will you publish me?”. Now, these are not unwelcome asks. At Limehouse Books we try to be as open as possible. We’re a very small, independent publishing house, a start-up and fully self-funded. We can’t publish everyone, but we try to help where we can. So, this time, I decided to offer something different.

I pitched him right back. I told him about our imprint, Limehouse Tower, how it’s a new outlet for writers to self-publish, whilst taking advantage of all the benefits a publisher can offer. What this means to us and the author is exceptional design, production standards and worldwide distribution channels.

It’s also the first time a trade publisher has openly created an outlet for people to promote their work that’s integrated with the running of our own Limehouse projects.

I gave him my card. He said he’d think about it and went back to the bar. Maybe I’ll hear from him. Or maybe I’ll wait to see what budding author the next event brings…

By Emily Foster

@emilyjayfoster

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/emilyjaynefoster

Emily Foster

Area: UK Britain East of England East Midlands London North East North West Yorkshire Scotland South East South West Wales West Midlands

New Creatabot Contributor – Emily Foster

Our new contributor Emily will be writing short diary type articles for Creatabot that discuss her recent experiences working for small independent publishing house “Limehouse Books“. Her aim is to give writers a little more insight into how things work behind the scenes and also provide ideas and suggestions as to how to progress in the publishing world. I spoke to Emily to find out more about her and how she got into working in publishing.
 
So Emily, whats your creative background?
 
I studied Graphic Communication at Bath Spa university, and graduated last summer (2011). At university I got involved with the student magazine and interned at local magazines – publishing was always a focus for me. But I’m originally from north London – it’s good to be home. 
 
How did you get involved in Limehouse?
 
I was a design intern at Limehouse Books just after I graduated, and started my part-time job here in October. The company is very small so I work in lots of areas as well as design, like organising events and press. 
 
What other career paths have you taken?
 
None so far – but as well as working at Limehouse, I also work part-time as a Junior Designer at a company called Informa. I work on some of their healthcare magazines. 
 
Who inspires you both locally and universally?
 
People with drive and determination inspire me. Working at a small start-up and watching it struggle is hard but you have to keep motivated and keep going in order to succeed. 
 
What would you like to achieve in the future?
 
I’d just like to keep doing what I love! 
 
Can you recommend a creative website you love?
 
I like the It’s Nice That website, I think they do a lot for us creatives!

Thank you Emily for telling us more about yourself!

You can find out more about Limehouse Books at www.limehousebooks.co.uk

By Natasha Steer

Area:   UK   Britain   East of England   East Midlands   London  North East   North West    Yorkshire    Scotland South East    South West    Wales   West Midlands