The Creative Life in 365 Degrees

A “calendar” book of inspirational quotes for creative people, with a quote a day featured on each page. The cover uses very simple graphics; a circle in an elliptical orbit around the title. The image offers a visual pun that contrasts the idea of 365 days vs. 360 degrees. The subtitle in various display fonts suggests the playful humor and light mood of the book’s content.

This book interior was a challenge. The text (originally tweets) was very sparse on each of the pages in the “calendar” part of the book, so I used a variety of huge display fonts grayed to a 15 percent black to decorate the page. When I first ran a proof of the book, I found that the print-on-demand technology and page thickness didn’t return consistent results: the large gray area of the initial caps was streaked and exhibited inconsistent tones from page to page. This would not have happened with the lithographic printing process. The technicians that run the machines for Print-on-Demand books don’t have any traditional printing skills; they are just machine operators. I found out that the machine that prints the books runs several laser printer heads at the same time for one book. The toners of each printer head can have a different amount of toner, ergo, the pages of the book are inconsistently printed. This isn’t usually a problem with line art (text) but can be a problem with flat tones.

So I came up with an innovative way to render the flat tones of the large caps: I created a gray fill in Photoshop, rendered it into the random dots of a pseudo-stochastic screen, then, in InDesign, I made each cap into a vector graphic that I then filled with the dot effect. In essence, I made a continuous tone fill into line art.

The book prints beautifully using any technology now. Below are a few pages that show the dot-effect in the flat tones of the initial caps. Although they look gray, the areas are actually tiny random black dots. This effect was carried through even in the 2 point lines of the design.

Title: ITC Kabel, Futura
Subtitle: Various fonts

Interior Typography
Body: Minion Pro
Title Page: ITC Kabel Book
Chapter Heads: Syntax Bold
Large Caps: Various fonts

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Illustration and Design Copyright Aliyah Marr

Illustration and Design Aliyah Marr


Book Design

Hidden GrandMa

Hidden Grandma

A children’s book that “hides” Grandma in ever-more ridiculous places. Design and branding: part of the “I Love my Grands” series.

No Time Like the Present

Stark, bright posterized illustrative style underlines the title in the artwork with the shadow of the runner that points to her future romantic interest in the distance.

The Myth of Race

The image is of a push-up toy that I bought in Chelsea a few years ago. Tension is conveyed by the jarring offset of the foreground and background colors.

Anonymous was a Woman

The subtitle, “an exploration of gender and genius,” was inserted inside the area of the title instead of placing it in a more traditional location underneath the title.