Meet the team: book designer Lauren Woods Apr 23 2014

Fly on the wall

The book shows this year were a huge success for Advocate Art! We believe there are several members of our team who deserve a special mention. Today, we would like you to meet Lauren Woods - an ever smiling optimist, a rock-star and a person responsible for stunning children's book samples that wowed our publishing clients both at Bologna and London Book Fairs. Below Lauren talks about her role as a senior book designer at Advocate and creative process behind bringing book ideas to life. As the Senior Book Designer here at Advocate I have a number of different job roles, here is a brief overview of the main two:
I regularly work, along with the rest of the design team, on designing books for children’s publishers. This can sometimes mean a job as simple as placing artwork into a pre-existing template and editing text. However, we also work on projects where we are involved from the very start and work on the books for the entire process: from helping to choose artists to laying out the pages of the book and developing unique designs; from briefing and art directing the illustrators to finally creating print-ready files to be sent to the printers. It is very exciting to work on these bigger projects, as we get to see the project through from start to finish and there is a real sense of achievement. It is also a great way to develop working relationships with our own Advocate illustrators, and also the teams at the publishing houses we work with.
 
My other main role is working for LaB. This is a department within the company where we work with illustrators on their book ideas. This is a really fulfilling part of my job, as I get to work closely with our artists on projects that are very personal to them.
 
When an artist approaches us with an idea, I discuss it with my colleague Caroline and we work out the best way to present that book. Sometimes it comes down to choosing the right format - whether the book should be square or portrait. But sometimes we have to completely change the concept in order to make the most of it. In the past we have changed simple board book ideas into activity and sticker books, or worked with illustrators to develop what they imagined as a picture book into a early reader or young fiction book! Its exciting to see these ideas develop, and to see how illustrators grow in confidence as authors as well as artists.
 
During the 'LaB process’ I take the initial idea and any existing artwork and design the cover and two or three spreads, briefing the artists on any new artwork and amends that are needed. Once the artwork is complete, I finalise the layouts and typography. Then  the ideas get mocked up into physical printed samples to take to book fairs and meetings. It is always exciting seeing these samples go off on their first journey into the outside world! But what is always more exciting is the response I get from illustrators upon seeing the design of their books for the first time. Even better still is their response when they find out that their book has been picked up by a publisher and they want to buy it! It always makes me happy to know that I have been there alongside our artists on their way to becoming published authors/illustrators.
 
Outside of work I enjoy sports of various kinds, my newest sporting endeavour is to learn how to horse ride! I am a keen traveller and try to go on an adventure to a new place every year. I also sing in a band called Telephone Road, which takes up a lot of my spare time with practising, recording and playing at gigs around my local area.