Books are hard to present in a few pictures. Instead of attempting to document a number of previous projects at length, this overview – showing impressions from various books I have worked on over the course of about six years – aims to give an impression of how I design and typeset books. (If you would like to know more about individual past projects, you can find more information on my old studio website.)
When I design any part of a book, even if it’s just the cover, the first step is to read it. After all, I believe it is impossible to design anything effectively without knowing what it is, and what it’s trying to communicate to whom. Apart from any existing guidelines, a direction for the design will often follow from the content, the intent, the target audience, the reading situation (coffee tables? crowded trains? winter evenings in bed?), and the voice of the text – which I work to enhance and support with the voice of the design. Since form inevitably colors perception of content, I believe it’s crucial to design books in a conscious, constructive way – with respect for and in dialogue with the text. Typeface selection is central, and usually one of the very first decisions I take. Many things follow from there: the leading, the margins, the indents; down to where that one line breaks that ends a chapter. After (or besides) the design stage, I deeply enjoy typesetting texts with care and attention to detail, polishing and molding the typography to make sure it does not hinder the flow of the text.
“Nina Stössinger […] has done outstanding work on the book design. Even for tiny problems, she will look for the best solution.” – E. E. Zunft zu Gartnern, on their book «Zu bürgerlicher Eintracht und Vertraulichkeit»