Book Design Award Winner // Southwest Modern

As scary as it can be, it’s good for me to put my work out there sometimes to get reviewed and critiqued by industry professionals. There’s nothing like a group of book and design-lovers giving you honest feedback!

A few months ago, I submitted Southwest Modern written by Kristi Schroeder, published by Lucky Spool, to the Publishing Professionals Network 2018 Book Show. Throughout the entire process of working on that book I felt my design juices flowing. The landscape photography that Kurt Griesbach shot and Kristi’s graphic quilts made for one of my favorite book design projects ever. I was happy the entire time that book was on my screen and I knew if I were going to submit a design that this would be it.


I’m thrilled to say that Southwest Modern has been awarded Honorable Mention for Book Design in the How-to + Craft Book category! I know there were a lot of beautifully designed books this year and it’s wonderful to have Page + Pixel’s design included in such great company.

Here’s to Fridays and putting ourselves out there.

+ Kristy

Styling Fabric Collections + Sewtopia Winners!

When styling photographs, Nissa and I tend to lean towards an eclectic aesthetic with layers of textures and sometimes unexpected colors. We love to create lived-in, warm looking environments and using props that match perfectly or all came from the same store make this type of look a little less believable. 

Having said that, sometimes being matchy-matchy is just what a photo needs!


Page + Pixel is a sponsor of Sewtopia, an awesome sewing retreat that happens in a different American city twice each year. It's a fun event that gives quilters a chance to veg out with their sewing projects AND explore a new city—all while being pampered with meals and snacks and prizes. One of the recurring activities is the Michael Miller Fabric Challenge. Michael Miller Fabrics provides quilters with a funky fabric collection and the participants bring a sewn item to the retreat to get voted on by the attendees. There are 3 winners (sometimes more!) and  Page + Pixel gets to take styled photos of the winners!


When shooting the projects for Sewtopia, Nissa and I decided that being inspired by the color scheme of the fabrics was the way to go. All of the projects were made using a fabric collection and it would be distracting to introduce a drastically different color. This made the styling really fun! We searched for all of the blue, orange and black props we could find...if they were space or science-themed, it was a bonus!


While styling a photo, we constantly remind our selves that the project is the star and the props play a supporting role. The key is to find the right balance so that the images still tell a story and feel authentic.

What's your propping strategy for taking photos of projects made with fabric collections?

+ Kristy


Being successful at photography, no matter what you are shooting, is all a matter of light.

Learning to harness it is a lifelong pursuit. See it, read it, bounce it, make it, love it, hate it. Become it's keeper.


It doesn't matter what kind of camera you have, or what kind of gear you have. If you cannot harness light you cannot steadily make good photographs.

Even though I have been shooting for 10 years now, I regularly have my mind blown by something I didn't see before. It is one of my favorite things. Never ever stop watching, learning, trying.

Follow the light.

What are we all working on? Anyone want to talk about how good or bad light is being to them today?

WALK Book Design: Before/After

For this Before/After, I will talk about the role photography plays in these particular layouts. Take a look at how photography, design and layout transformed Jacquie Gering's manuscript into a beautiful, functional teaching and learning tool. 





Using a large image to start off a chapter helps to break up the book and gives readers a visual cue that they are starting a new section. Plus, who doesn't love a big, pretty photo of a quilt? 


When images have a soft, light background, one of my favorite things to do is to place type over the top. This integrates the image with the text and the page feels more designed and cohesive. 


Books typically have set page counts. The publisher contracts with printers early and sets budgets with a page count in mind, so by the time the project gets to the designer, bookmaps need to be followed and content needs to fit on the page it was assigned to. Some pages have more content than others and one way that I solve the space issue for content-heavy pages is by utilizing a grid layout. I can fit more content on a page if the images are nestled together instead of being placed within the text. This solution is also great for visual-learners who like to see step-by-step processes in sequence.

While photography plays an integral role in setting the mood for a piece, think about how you can use photos as a design tool in your next layout project. It's fun and can make your piece more functional and engaging.

Happy Designing!
+ Kristy

Play Fuels Creativity

PLAY: It's a practice that Nissa and I are committed to incorporating more of into our busy schedules. Who knew that we would have to schedule the time in our day-to-day to play? As a creative, it feels ridiculous—scheduling play-time— because it is the act of Play that got us here doing what we're doing. As a kid I would write and illustrate books for fun. I would make collages and was constantly reorganizing my bedroom...for fun! Not because I had to, not because someone was paying me to, but because I was able to get lost in the creativity and wasn't concerned about failure or doing it the right way or even if what I was doing would be considered "good" by anyone else. People need to play, especially creative people that earn a living using their creativity. Without it, I believe we risk the threat of our work becoming our job and that doesn't sound very fulfilling or sustainable.



About a month ago, we wrapped up a big, long photography project. We were feeling spent— we were out of ideas. Nissa nudged me and suggested that I come in to the studio ready to style a few little photos and take pictures of anything that I wanted. Whoa! The open-endedness was such a contrast to coming off of a project with a team of people giving me direction and feedback, it was almost overwhelming!

We gave ourselves a time limit of about 30 minutes (I love timers, they keep me motivated and focused). Nissa geeked out with her macro lens and I cut up random little bits of paper. It was a blast. During the play-shoot, we thought about how we could incorporate more play into our actual client projects without veering too far from the expectations. We also agreed to have a play session after every big project to recalibrate. As busy creative business-owners and mothers, it has now come to the point where the act of Play is a form of self-care.


Curious: Do any of your schedule time for play? If so, do you play in the medium that you work in or do you get a kick out of experimenting?

Happy Play Day!


* All photos in this post were edited with the BOLD Preset from the Page + Pixel Toolbox. Get your own set of presets here to streamline your photo-editing process.