The design wall at Marquand Books stretches down the hallway, a parade of color and text on sheets of paper. The wall, a strip of white sheet metal, is an indispensable canvas for our designers. It’s a place where they can move ideas from a computer screen to a three-dimensional space and where the relation between a book’s object quality and design can be tested.
In our open floor plan, the design wall has increased visibility—making it a catalyst for dialogue between our design, editorial, and production teams. Its accessibility allows everyone to stay tuned to new projects and design directions. The design wall shows the creative work involved in book production, and it underscores the essential role each department plays in the process.
“The thing I like best about the design wall is that it encourages the designers to print pages and spreads in full size so that we can see the design subtleties in a real-world scale. This makes it feel like a real physical object, rather than a digital concept of a real object. And it allows everyone to see how their contributions are affecting the designer’s work.”—Ed Marquand, Creative Director
“I end up seeing designs much sooner than I would otherwise, so I feel connected to the material earlier on in the process. I believe that it fosters a collaborative environment.”—Brynn Warriner, Managing Editor
“I like being able to see the designs because it’s easier to visualize possible cover treatments that might enhance them. And I love seeing the overall spread of the new books.” —Leah Finger, Production Manager
“I like the fact that it invites conversation about the designs and encourages feedback.”—Jeremy Linden, Production Artist
“The design wall opens up one aspect of our work to everyone else, encouraging discussion and fostering a better understanding of what designers do.”—Adrian Lucia, Managing Director
“I really enjoy the critique environment that the design wall creates. Talking about the designs only makes them better, and I think it’s great that everyone has a chance to provide input.”—Ryan Polich, Design and Production Assistant
“It can definitely open up dialogue within the office, and all can see how the early concepts are developing. And when clients come to visit, it allows them to see what we’re up to. Everyone knows to look for new designs when they hear the loud clicking of magnets on sheet metal.”—Jeff Wincapaw, Design Director
photography by Jeremy Linden