Parragon License Design Team: Behind the Purple Door
(Huge thanks to Assistant Designer Rhys Kitson, from our License team for letting us have an exclusive look into his day-to-day life at Parragon!)
I live approximately three minutes away from work, which is super handy – just a hop, skip and jump away. I’m greeted at the office by a gentle aroma of coffee and early morning chatter about the previous evening’s activities. But the natter soon becomes a murmur as people focus on the day ahead.
A new Barbie movie is being released on DVD soon, which is exciting as we create books to tie-in with all the Barbie movies. We generally create 4 books to tie-in with each movie: a magical story, which is an abridged version of the movie, a 'classic', a full version of the story, a colouring storybook and a sticker scene. I have the proofs for the 'classic' to go through now and to check over….
The Barbie proofs look great so I am happy to pass it over to my editor to have a look and make any editorial comments.
My inbox is looking quite light so far today, sometimes it’s overflowing!
Next, I spend some time looking at the book cover for the magical story that we are creating for the same Barbie movie. We have tried to make this book cover really stand out, so we have added something called a 'lenticular' as part of the cover. This makes the picture look 3D. Lenticulars can be quite fiddly to set up, and we have been trying to make a small tweak to the art on the cover. I can see that it is still not quite right, (as I said it’s very fiddly!), so after discussing it with the relevant people, we decide to resupply the file with the amendments made. It will look ace in the end!
Sometimes I find myself staring so intently at the screen I think my gaze might burn a hole in it. Note to self: give my eyes a 5-minute break! It’s time for quick cuppa and onto my next task.
Next up is looking at one of our newest licenses, ‘Victorious’. This is Nickelodeon’s big new tween show, and we’re producing a top range of books to support it. We've been taking onboard comments from Nickelodeon along the way. My job now is to check through some of the titles and images, and check that they are all in the correct place on each page. As these titles will be printed in both the USA and the UK, we have two different versions of text, one for US and one for UK. Whilst they are pretty much the same language, a few words differ. It can get a little confusing at times, but we want to make sure that the right text is in the right place! Everything is looking good, so I repackage it all to make sure all the images and fonts match up too. Once that’s done it is pretty much ready to be sent to the reproduction house.
With that done, a fresh cup of tea sits invitingly on my desk and I approach my final task of the day, which is to create a cover and internal spread for a new Barbie Jigsaw book. It is still very early days for this project, and there will be lots of little changes that we make before the book is ready to be printed. This Barbie Jigsaw book should look pretty neat; I have a few good ideas for it. We want to make it look fresh and bold, but keep that core ‘Barbie’ identity. It can be more difficult than you might think!
With a cover and an internal spread created, I think it’s time to go home, my eyes sting a bit from staring at the screen all day and I have a 3 month old son at home waiting for a cuddle!