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Ninth Letter:
“Garden Valley”




Heath Schultz and I teamed up to design a written work—“Garden Valley” by April Freely—for the award-winning arts and literary publication, Ninth Letter. Freely’s non-traditional style of writing encouraged us to push the story outside of the contained magazine into a supplemental piece that could be unfolded and read in one continuous scroll. Her use of language in connection with place inspired our use of letterpress techniques and mapping. Through both approaches, we aimed to make language more physical and maps more psychological.

Writer Ander Monson wrote a review of our design in Essay Daily, calling it “a lovely example of an effective and subdued design that flatters the essay.” More excerpted below:

And one of the luxe features (Ninth Letter loves its luxe features) of this design is that the essay is letterpressed. Black on white, yes. The stroke down the center isn’t printed with ink; it’s just blank but imprinted. Also a nice touch. And the letterpress suggests the divide between oral and print even more dramatically, the space between these authorities. It also looks (and feels) cool. Here the design serves writing, serves meaning, which is what design ought to do, whether it’s in the hands of designers or writers.

Ninth Letter, vol 6 issue 2
5 pages, 10" × 32.5" unfolded. 2009.




/ 2019