Coffee Table Book

book graphic design

Discovering Sisu

Sisu was not a part of our standard vocabulary despite our office being smack in the dab of Finn country.  We knew this project would likely be a lengthy one, but even we misjudged the length of time and effort it would take to pull together over 100 years of history. Imagine pages of content and photos. Lots and lots of pages. Like 256 total pages... all custom designed (following a grid template, of course). We think it's safe to say that without Sisu, this book wouldn't exist.

Readability. Readability. Readability!

It was very important that the book be readable by all ages and eyes. The early stages of design including selecting and testing a variety of typefaces at multiple sizes and spacing. Specific type treatments were defined for section titles, headlines, sub-headlines, paragraph text, captions, and quotes. Color and contrast were also reviewed, and a flexible system was created that would work well with varying background colors and textures, as seen in the example above.

photo book graphic design

The Little Things

While it was clear that the photos and stories would be the stars of the book, they still needed a supporting cast around them to weave the pieces together. Several design elements were chosen and implemented throughout the book to add texture, color, and interest. Film strips, textured paper, canvas textures, a blue Finnish textile, and leaves were all incorporated to create a scrapbook look, and invoke the feeling of paging through a family's history: the Finlandia family.

"Monte Consulting of Houghton, MI, bravely took on the management and graphic design of this books, perhaps not anticipating that it would become a 12-month project.

 Owner Matt Monte and project manager Ashley Curtis were able, patient, behind-the-scenes stewards of the lengthy publication process.

Graphic artist Lauren (Roell) Schwartz, a Class of 2007 alumna of the Finlandia University International School of Art & Design, designed and produced the book's visual layout. Her skill, creativity, and thoughtfulness fill these pages with color and life."

Karen S. Johnson, Editor & Lead Author

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