kimberly taylor-pestell handlettered book design sage words sage spirit creative direction

Project Description

"I'm interested in the moment when two objects collide and generate a third. The third object is where the interesting work is." – Bruce Mau

Sage Words and Sage Spirit are illustrated poetry books that feature the poetic musings of Jet Widick and hand-lettered text and illustrations by Kimberly Taylor-Pestell. I loved this project for many reasons, but the story behind it and subsequent friendship that grew from the experience are what give it top billing.

In October 2015, I received a phone call about a web design and branding project from a client referral. I was living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan at the time and the call came from Boca Raton, Florida. After two months into working together, my new client sends me a gift in the mail. It's Lisa Congdon’s book Whatever You Are, Be A Good One.

She calls me to tell me she would like to publish a book of her poetry; a beautiful and meaningful book like Congdon’s suitable for gift-giving. I knew that my fine art and graphic illustration/typographic style didn’t lend itself to the tone of the book. It needed that imperfect, emotive feeling that one can only get from the hand-drawn. I immediately thought of my friend Kimberly in Southern California as the perfect artist for the job. She is also a fan of Lisa Congdon and introduced her artwork to me when we worked together while I was living out west.

As a graphic designer, I’m constantly deconstructing meaning and messaging from the symbols, shapes and colors surrounding us. I love that the collaborative process behind the books involved three people—a triad—and if you were to connect the points on a map between each of our respective cities, it would create a colossal triangle.

The power of three is universal. Any structure requiring strong and stable construction depends on triangles to achieve that goal, and designers, artists and musicians use the rule of thirds to create harmony in their compositions. Human development occurs in three main stages, and 3 represents the triads of body, soul and spirit. Beginning, middle and end. Desire, action and results.

Even though the three of us live in different and distant cities, we now have a commonality between us, linked together by our complementary strengths. Three is symmetry, three is beauty, three is magic.

publication design illustrated poetry books
illustration by kimberly taylor-pestell creative direction and publication design by kristen alden
publication design illustrated poetry books
illustration by kimberly taylor-pestell creative direction and publication design by kristen alden
publication design illustrated poetry books
Photography by Deborah Tracey Photography

Project Details

Role:

Design management
Creative direction
Graphic design
Print production
Branding
Web design

Categories:

Editorial

Client:

Jet Widick

Project Date:

February 16, 2017