Dorie McClelland

Books have always been my passion. Participating in creating them is enjoyable and satisfying. To do that well, I've extensively studied and practiced book design and typography. I know that my mom began reading to me before I was born, certainly after. But as immersed as I was in books, it never occurred to me that someone, with a special eye and skill, would facilitate the conversion from manuscript to the books I loved. That I could learn to do that is one of the great discoveries in my life. 

My early careers were in juvenile corrections, counseling, real estate brokerage, new construction, residential land development, and commercial real estate financing—thus managing several small corporations and limited partnerships, and providing the platform for successful sales colleagues. I founded Spring Book Design about eighteen years ago and, though I was totally involved in those previous careers, I found my true passion in book design.

I've been collaborating with authors, illustrators, cover designers, editors, and publishers to produce over 300 books—trade, coffee table, art, memoirs, family histories, youth, and children's. I enjoy presenting mini-workshops and talks on book design. I'm an active member of the sizable and excellent book-building community in the Twin Cities, and am currently a board member and treasurer of the Midwest Independent Publishers Association (MIPA). I owe my book designing colleagues a great debt for including me and continuing to share and discover good design and typography. We all laugh when we meet, knowing that we will talk and talk (mostly introverts, would you believe) about things no one else in the world but us would find essential to do our jobs well. Then we're glad to go back to our offices with fresh perspectives, ideas, and enthusiasm.

I am also consumed by my family genealogy research. I appreciate the stories I can access, learning how people lived in other times, the "why's," and the importance of family stories, documents, and heritage. I have contributed to other families' stories in my role as a facilitator of their books, and I consider that a privilege. I've seen what family books mean to younger generations, just what they would have meant to me from my grandparents and great-grandparents.

I am a lifelong collector of books and an avid reader. When a new client comes to meet with me, they take a quick look around and say, "I think I'm in the right place." Having studied liberal arts at Saint Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, and graduate liberal arts at Hamline University in St. Paul, I am steeped in the world of books. My love of reading and learning is equal only to my love for the beautifully designed book!

I look forward to the experience of a book, both when I'm designing and when I'm reading. What often strikes me about a book is how its aesthetic is such a basic element in its enjoyment. Like a frame around a great work of art, you are aware of the beauty of the frame and how it helps focus your attention, but grateful that it isn't interfering with your experience. —Dorie

 

"May all your design and layout efforts be as successful as the ones you did for us."

—Lyn Verthein and Tim Holschlag, Smallmouth Fly Fishing, River Smallmouth Fishing