Seaside A to Z

CASE STUDY: Specialty Print Work
A to Z
August 3, 2020

From Pages to Press

Seaside A to Z is the 6th book in author Katie Hines Porterfield's alphabet children's series. With each book highlighting different towns, Porterfield has chosen local artists to capture the scenes in a variety of unique ways. Illustrated by seaside local artist Liza Synder, Seaside A to Z represents the quaint yet popular tourist destination in a surprising and beautiful manner.


As a close friend of Laura Deleot, co-founder of Circa Design, Porterfield has trusted Circa with the production of her childrens books for several years. Within my first month of being a fellow, I was assigned to assist a Junior Designer with photographing the pages. As I learned more about the project and the Junior Designer had other work, I was able to take over more of the project myself.

The Challenge:

Illustrator Liza Snyder perfectly captured the essence of Seaside with her brightly colored and dynamic illustrations, created through a layered and collage-style technique. However, in order to accurately capture the layers and depth of the artwork, scanning the pages, the method used for previous A to Z books, was not an option. Instead, we set up a photoshoot and carefully exaggerated the depth by placing scraps of paper between the layers on the pages.


After photographing, each page was edited in Lightroom and then some were transferred to Photoshop for additional elements to be added. For example, every page has a seagull hidden in the artwork, however, some pages were missing a seagull during the photoshoot so they had to be added in retroactively, or the text boxes needed adjusting, or other requests from the artist or author. This project expanded my photoshop skills in exciting new ways.

I was then responsible for typesetting the book with a custom typeface, created by my co-worker from the artists own handwriting. This required adjusting the tracking and kerning on every page and adapting to the lack of punctuation within the font system.


In addition to prepping the entire book for print, the most exciting part of the project for me was developing the cover. The artwork the artist originally included for the cover ended up being the wrong size so she trusted us to come up with a solution. Using a variety of pieces from other pages in the book, I created a collage that represented Seaside and pleased both Author and Artist, which you can now see as the cover of Seaside A to Z.

Seaside A to Z book laying on a pile of the original interior artwork

The Outcome:

Both author and illustrator have been overjoyed with the outcome of the book. After announcing the book on Instagram and announcing pre-orders, they immediately started receiving orders. Since then, they have arranged several signings and have stocked several stores in the local Seaside area.

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