One of the most rewarding experiences during my time at Whitworth has been my job as the design editor of our yearbook. As the only graphic designer on the yearbook team, I’ve been tasked with creating the visual identities of two published books of about 240 pages each.
Before dealing with the content of each book, I worked with the editor-in-chief to decide how the theme would be communicated. Last year, our editor-in-chief, Sophia Lizberg, and I decided on an illustration of ponderosa pine roots to connect with the book’s theme: Resilient. The goal was to convey that—like roots—the Whitworth community grows around any obstacle it faces.
This year and last, I have been in charge of creating style guides, page layouts, cover designs, and promotional materials for the books. As the 2020-2021 school year was influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, we relied on illustrations in place of many photos. This was especially important when group gatherings were not possible and events were held online. I created over 30 custom illustrations and graphics for last year’s book. The 2021 book was designed playfully with bright, flat graphics and a fun, dynamic headline font. Because the 2022 book is the 100th edition of the publication, it has a more classic feel with some elements—like the art-deco inspired fonts—reminiscent of the 1920s. As we curated the content of the book this year, we chose to include old photos from the last century dispersed occasionally through story pages and featured prominently on divider pages.
The professional experience I’ve gained while still in school these past two years is invaluable. This job has pushed me to expand my understanding of layout, typography, and book design in general. My organizational skills, time management, and patience have been challenged by this role, but the ability to have designed two complete published books is something I will always be grateful for. As I write this, I am only days away from seeing and holding the 2022 yearbook for the first time. The distribution of this book will be bittersweet. I will miss this job deeply, but I see it as only the start of my design career.
Find me online at jaimecrainart.com and on Instagram @jaimecrainart and @jaimecraindesign