Amanda Scope is an Austrian-born graphic designer, with over 15 years experience in magazine and book publishing, She has designed covers and layouts for various lifestyle and fashion magazines, anthologies and trade books. We spoke to Amanda about the difference between working on self-published and traditionally published books, whether or not you need a degree to work in print design and the most gratifying aspect of her job.
1. You have over 15 years experience in print design. How did you come to decide that this would be your career?
I can’t remember a time when I haven’t been interested in printed matter and I’ve been ‘making’ books since childhood! I initially set out working in photography until I realised it was the graphic design side of publishing which challenged and satisfied me most. I switched careers and have never looked back.
2. What are your favourite, and most challenging projects you’ve worked on to date?
Any project which I can develop from the start is a challenge – there is no formula I rely on, I try and give everything its own look and identity which involves quite a bit of research, but this is part of what keeps work fresh and exciting for me.
3. What is the difference between working for publishing houses and self-publishing clients?
The differences are big and both have advantages and disadvantages. I cherish the close teamwork and creative freedom when working with self-publishing clients, but the established relationships and the support you can get from a big publisher can make work run more smoothly sometimes.
4. What advice would you give for young people interested in print design? Are some skills achievable without a degree?
As long as you are able to use the necessary software you should be able to get a job in print design without a degree, although you will have to work your way up which can mean being stuck doing boring bits for a long time… I found doing my degree course invaluable, simply because I got to spend time with very creative people who taught me to look and think in ways I hadn’t considered before. I also think that doing work experience is a great way of getting to where you want to be.
5. What do you regard as the most gratifying aspect of book design?
Creating something which satisfies the client, excites the reader and makes me feel proud of what I’ve done all at the same time!