In the past few months since I was invited to be a member of The Dream Team, I have been hired to take on several exciting book design and layout projects. While an 11stories Life Story or Love Story Book always involves an element of layout work, these recent projects are bringing that creative work to the forefront. This month I am working on the creative design and layout of a photography book for commercial release this summer, and a family history book that spans nearly 200 years, showcasing geneaology records alongside treasured photos, letters and documents.

Last year I did a series on the Anatomy of the Book (start here) highlighting my process of moving from interview to final book. This year, I’d like to highlight the Tools of the Trade that I use in my process. Let’s start with Book Layout – here are a few of my favorite tools:

Adobe InDesign & the Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign is the star of the show, as the premiere professional layout software, with Illustrator and Photoshop as the supporting actors in my work. Each time I launch InDesign, I am as excited as a kid with a new box of crayons.

Lynda, InDesign Secrets: One of the most exciting aspects of my work with InDesign and the Creative Suite is the opportunity for continuous learning. These programs are so powerful, with endless possibilities for design, that there are always new features and tricks to learn. So when my creative vision reaches beyond my current knowledge of the program, I rely on Lynda tutorials and InDesign Secrets to guide me.

Wacom Intuos Pro: I am in love with my Wacom tablet, plain and simple. It allows me to work with multiple key strokes in InDesign, it gives me the precision to work on fine details, and it saves my wrist from fatigue – what’s not to love!

Typekit: This font service has been a valuable addition to the Adobe family, providing access to a wide range of type foundries through my Creative Cloud membership.

Other font resources: Typekit is just the starting point for my font exploration – each day I discover a new type foundry to bookmark. The world of type design is at an exciting moment, with an explosion of talent across international lines, from small and larger type foundries alike. I have new favorites every week, but these are a few I keep coming back to:

Sudtipos, Ale Paul and his team continue to produce classic, elegant typefaces

Mark Simonson Studio has text favorites, Bookmania and Goldenbook

Underware is on the cutting edge with Dolly Pro and Liza Pro

TruMatch: Simply put, TruMatch is like Pantone for print geeks, ensuring that your colors are in print ready CMYK mode.

More Tools of the Trade to come, including Writing, Interviewing, Organization, and Design Inspiration!