Meet the Team

Learn about cover design and interior layout with lead designer Jordan Mitchell

jordanmitchell1. How would you describe your role at Tellwell?

As lead designer, my primary role is the creation of book covers and interiors for our talented authors. Because I’ve worked on literally hundreds of books in my 5+ years in the publishing industry I’m also a resource for any design-related questions or concerns that our Publishing Consultants or Project Managers may have. If that doesn’t keep me busy enough, I’m also involved in the design and appearance of Tellwell’s web presence, client-facing materials and any other internal or external assets that other members of Tellwell’s team may require.

2. What’s your favourite part of the job?

I’ve always found figuring out an attractive and effective way to communicate what an author’s story is about within the constraints of a book cover to be incredibly rewarding.

3. What do think the most important aspect of an author’s cover design is?

In my experience, it’s incredibly difficult to choose a single element that is more important than any other when it comes to cover design…here’s why:

Some stories require an incredibly strong photo/illustration to convey what the book is about, and in those instances the typography on the cover may need to take a little bit of a back seat so the image can shine. For another story, a specific image might be completely unnecessary, so now the type on the cover is the star. In that instance, the fonts chosen and the layout of text is of utmost importance. Every book has a balance of these elements, but both are equally important.

4. What are some tips you have for authors when it comes to cover and interior design?

I have only one tip and I know Tellwell communicates this to our authors as often as possible: trust in the design team. This can be a tough one because I know from years of experience that every author’s project is incredibly close to their heart, but when an author is willing to hand some of the control over to the creative individuals we have working here, the results are always elevated. I can say without a doubt that it is always the team’s goals to produce the best book possible 100% of the time.

5. What is your favourite type of book to design and why?

I really like working on novels. While the layout of a chapter book may not seem that interesting I find the process almost meditative. Choosing the correct typefaces that work appropriately with the story, creating a great cover, adjusting margins, leading, font-size, etc. are what I enjoy best.

6. What was the most gratifying project you’ve worked on at Tellwell and why?

This will sound cliché, but every book I work on is gratifying because I’m helping someone achieve their goals. Every project has an author behind it who has worked for weeks, months and oftentimes years on their manuscript. When you remember that, it makes the entire job that much more gratifying.

7. What got you interested in designing books specifically?

Initially I got into book design simply for the job that came with it. However, I quickly fell in love with the process, and now almost 6 years later I wouldn’t want to be designing anything else.

8. What did you do before Tellwell?

I’ve worked in the graphic design industry for almost a decade. During that time, I’ve worked for other book publishing companies, high-end boutique design studios, and been a self-employed freelance designer. Prior to graphic design, I was a golf professional who worked as an instructor at a local golf course.

9. What do you like to read?

I’m a big fan of fantasy fiction, and on the other end of the spectrum…biographies. The Hobbit is my favourite book of all time.

10. What do you do in your spare time?

When I’m not in the office you can usually find me at the climbing gym, on the golf course, or rolling around Victoria on my bike.

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