QED Publishing – Working Within The Global Office!

Children's Book Design by Becky Blake

Children's Book Design by Becky Blake

Been a while since my last blog but like many self employed, every time you think you’ve got a moment for self promotion the phone rings and another job comes in, not that I’m complaining.

Work has been non stop since September. It has involved a variety of projects from rebranding local businesses, corporate layout to illustrating children’s books for the global publishing company QED.

The four books were great fun to do but quite hard work, as they required more than 300 illustrations over a period of five weeks. It meant a lot of midnight oil burning and certainly made me unpopular at home over Christmas, but it was well worth it. Fortunately I’m the kind of person who loves a challenge and kind of enjoy working under pressure – just as well!

What was interesting about working for QED was the geographical range of its ‘office’ members. There was myself, illustrator, working from Portland, Managing Editor from Surrey, Layout designer in Oxfordshire (Red Paper Design), Creative Directors and Graphic Designers in London (QED Publishing) and the writer Penny Dowdy in the US. It’s amazing to think that a whole series of books were created purely by

E-mail and a handful of phone calls.

I guess the most negative aspect of working this way is lack of human contact. I love meeting with my clients and relish the fact that many of my business relationships evolve into friendships. It’s also easy to misinterpret the occasional e-mail which can cause confusion at times. This mixed with transatlantic time differences can, dare I say, cause a little air of panic as deadlines approach.

On the positive side, at least working this way, there are no arguments over who’s turn it is to make the coffee. No one has to suffer the upset of finding the last chocolate biscuit has been claimed, leaving only the soft, forgotten pink wafer that wouldn’t satisfy a mouse fitted with a gastric band.

My children were great to work with on this project. Sometimes they would stand watching me work before suggesting I should take a break as the drawing I had just done was rubbish and needed to be done differently. It’s what I live for – three little muses advising on redesigns first thing in the morning after I have worked on them all night. Actually, I think kids are great at seeing things in excitingly different ways. As boring old grown ups, we tend to forget how to do this and can leave our fantastic imaginations behind.

The books are a series aimed at the home education market and will be available in the UK from May. I worked on the 6 – 8 year olds range and can’t wait to see the finished items. Apparently they look great and if they sell well there will be an extended series.

I will paste a couple of the covers I illustrated into my portfolio for now and add some of the internal pages later on in the year.

Oh, by the way, I received an award for being;

‘Officially recognised as one of the best businesses in Weymouth & Portland because it is an excellent local company offering a bespoke solution for your business needs. All design and print projects approached with knowledge and professionalism’

– Hurrah! Please excuse the trumpet blowing but sometimes it has to be done!

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