Introducing the Floris Design and Production Team
I’m Richard, one of the Designers here at Floris. It’s my job to work with an editor to take a manuscript and transform it into a finished book, designing the covers and layout, commissioning illustrators and handling the production right up to delivery. I’ll be blogging with the rest of the team and giving you an insight into being a designer at Floris Books.
Tell us about your studies and training.
I studied Fine Art at degree level, specialising in drawing and printmaking. Since graduating I’ve done a number of things: illustrated books, helped run an art gallery and managed public arts projects (where amongst other things I designed a fireworks display) – and now I’m a book designer at Floris! Most of my design skills are self-taught but come from plenty of practice and a lifelong love of books and illustration.
Graphics tablet or pen and paper?
A mix of both. Pen and ink first, then digital tidying up.
What’s the best part about working at Floris?
Many things, but getting manuscripts back with queries like “Is this font tomatoey enough?” and working out how a elk-operated Viking spa entrance might function are recent highlights.
What’s the first picture book you remember reading?
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.
I started off studying for a BA in Philosophy, during which I had a part-time editorial job that sparked my interest in media. After graduating I went to Edinburgh Napier University, where I attained an MSc Publishing degree.
I initially planned to go into Editorial but during my Publishing studies I realised that I’d always been immediately drawn to the look and feel of books and magazines. The idea of giving great content the packaging it deserves excited me so much that I knew it was the right department for me.
At the risk of sounding cliché, I love working in a team full of talented and creative individuals I can learn from every day.
It’s hard to choose, but the daily serious conversations about mythical creatures never fail to make my day.
I studied Ba (Hons) Illustration at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee and then I followed that up with a MSc Publishing at Edinburgh Napier. I’ve been learning on the job ever since!
Why did you choose to go into Design & Production?
In my final year at DJCAD I became really interested in books as objects and I created a lot of artists books, screenprinting them by hand. That lead me to study on the MSc Publishing where this area revealed itself as a natural fit for my interests and skills.
What is the most ridiculous thing on your desk?
A panda that punches metal-free staples with its bottom.
What’s your biggest inspiration professionally?
Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada. I’d like to think that one day, I’ll have someone to take my coat and bag and give me a coffee when I come into the office in the morning…
What’s your ‘desert island’ picture book?
The Heart in the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers. It’s one of the few British picture books that dares to deal with a heavy subject, and Jeffers does it in such a poignant and wonderful way.
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- A Super Scotland Sticker Book
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- Ally Bally Bee
- An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Mythical Creatures
- Black Tide
- Cloudberry Castle
- Dragon Seeker
- First Aid for Fairies
- Isla & Pickle
- Lily McLean
- Magnus Fin Moonlight Mission
- My Luve is like a Red, Red Rose
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- Pyrate's Boy
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- Rocking Horse War
- Ruby McCracken
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- Soldier's Game
- Speed Bonnie Boat
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- The Chess Piece Magician
- The Fourth Bonniest Baby in Dundee
- The Wishcatchers
- Thor is Locked in my Garage
- Top-Secret Grandad and Me
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- Danny Scott
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