Designing the Interiors of The Debut Voices of Lookout Books Chapbook

Lookout Books is getting excited about AWP. We hope you’ll stop by our table at the Bookfair, and that you’ll attend The Debut Voices of Lookout Books, which is happening this Friday at 1:30 p.m. This reading will be the first time all four Lookout authors are in the same place, and the event will be followed by a book-signing at our Bookfair table. You’ll be able to grab signed copies of all our Lookout titles. We’re also excited about unveiling the limited edition chapbook that we printed in-house to commemorate the Debut Voices event.

We did a blog post about creating glyphs for the chapbook (read it here). Now we’re going to share how we designed the interior of the chapbook, which features complete stories from our three prose authors’ Lookout titles and two poems from our Lookout poet . Here’s a look into the process of designing and printing the book:

As the interior designer, I met with the interns doing cover design and together we decided on a trim size of 6” x 6”. Then I got to work on designing a page layout, asking for feedback as we worked.


1. An early version, with handwritten feedback. We needed to feature the author name more prominently, to group the name and title differently, and to give the text more room to breathe with some larger margins.

After taking everybody’s suggestions into account, I came up with the final layout, threaded the pieces into the InDesign document, had multiple people copy-edit printouts of the document, and then started printing.


2. Printing the book in The Publishing Laboratory. The new interior is pretty different from the one pictured above.

I spent the better part of two days printing, trimming pages on the guillotine trimmer, binding on the perfect binder (someday I’ll chuckle wistfully at the memory of my rookie mistake that spread glue all over the machine, and the hours we spent chipping away at it), and giving the bound books a final trim.


3. A bound chapbook awaiting trimming. The bow-tie covers are in honor of Ben Miller’s River Bend Chronicle. There are four cover designs total, each with a glyph that symbolizes that author’s work.


4. More bound chapbooks, resting under the weight of the entire English language.

Hands-on experience is one of the major reasons why I’m a Lookout intern. We really like all the emailing and editing and marketing that goes along with the job, but there’s something incredibly satisfying about spending a couple weeks actually making a book. It was definitely a learning experience: fun, exciting, and occasionally exhausting. We did a print-run of only 38 copies, so snatch one up as soon as you can!


5. Finished!

—Kathleen Jones, Lookout Intern