I’ve never understood the adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Because that’s exactly what we do. Whether books or people, despite admonitions otherwise, we make decisions based on appearance. In my journey as both a commercially published author, I’ve had covers I’ve loved and others I winced at proof copies (crossing my fingers for the reprint). Being an indie or self published writer, however, means from start to finish I have the creative control (and responsibility) of creating a compelling story with an enticing cover to match.
The Internet is a jungle and as an indie you have to go through trial and error when deciding which editors or designers you would like to work with. How do you find good people? Ask for referrals and also look at samples of their work. This is how I found Jamie Winder, my go-to designer for my top eBook titles.
Jamie is a freelance graphic designer, occasional print-maker and co-author of the forthcoming book Where You Going? Design Adventures in Southeast Asia. Having worked commercially across both print and digital, he often undertakes self-initiated projects to learn new things and remain enthusiastic. These have led to font design, illustration, screen printing and, ultimately, to Southeast Asia.
He’s done two of my titles, From Dunes to Dior and my latest release The Dohmestics. they’re invariably the ones readers love the most. Let me know if you have your own questions for Jamie.
How would you describe your design philosophy? Form follows function.
Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world?
I’m currently exploring Southeast Asia with Bangkok as my base, so I’m not thinking about settling any one place for now. That said, I’m intrigued by Taipei, and am attracted to the quality of life and rich design scene in Melbourne… but I’ll probably end up back in London some day!
Did you have support at the beginning of your decision to be in the creative industry?
I always assumed I’d be in the creative industry, so really there was no decision. I took a foundation course in art & design after my A-levels to help determine which area I’d pursue—over a year you get to try out everything from fine art to fashion, new media to print making—and it was my fashion tutor that pointed out to me that all work I was creating in her class was actually graphic design.
What’s your creative process?
The best ideas seem to come when I’m not thinking about a project, so the process often starts first thing when I’m not fully awake, or in the shower… unexpected times and places. From there I’ll sketch things out with a pen (very roughly, my notebook is no work of art), try a few variations of the concept and then get my laptop out to put it all together.
Do you design on a laptop or in a studio?
My laptop is indispensable, it allows me to travel and stay on top of my workload wherever I am.
Do you have a day job?
No, but being a freelance designer is often a day job + night shift rolled into one!