The old adage may say, “Don’t judge a book by a cover,” but don’t tell that to the designers at the Tin House.
The Portland publisher releases about a dozen books a year, and it has started to win attention and awards for its covers. Last year, its illustrated version of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” won one of the more prestigious graphic design awards in the industry: It was selected by the trade group Communication Arts for its 2015 Design Annual for book design, and it was the only book to be included in the Typography annual.
We visited the famous tin-sided house in Northwest Portland and spoke with art director Diane Chonette and designer Jakob Vala in order to get a behind-the-scenes look at their hands-on process.
Their newest work, “Dryland” by Portland author Sara Jaffe, is out this week. Jaffe will read from it at Powell’s Books on Sept. 2 at 7:30 p.m. To celebrate, there will be Voodoo Donuts with blue plaid frosting in the pattern of the cover.