We recently shared our first customer case study about how Erewhon Books uses Hederis to turn unique manuscripts into beautiful books. To see how this works in practice, we spoke with Cassandra Farrin, production manager for Erewhon Books and one of Hederis’s earliest and most prolific users. Cassandra and the Erewhon team are using Hederis to create bold, eye-catching designs for Erewhon’s diverse list of titles. Here, we’ll highlight a few of those designs and share Cassandra’s insights on how they came to be.
“We take inspiration from the cover design to set up a fresh look for each new project,” says Farrin. That inspiration is clear when you see the layout for Angela Mi Young Hur’s genre-defying, continents-spanning saga, Folklorn, which deftly weaves together suspenseful fantasy with Korean myths and legends. The book incorporates textures from the cover on the title page and on section and chapter openers.
Title font: Fedra Serif A
Text font: Aabced
The Midnight Bargain
A 2021 World Fantasy Award Finalist for Best Novel and NPR Best Books of 2020 from Witchmark author C.L. Polk, The Midnight Bargain is a sweeping, romantic fantasy set in a world reminiscent of Regency England, in which a sorceress must balance her desire to become the first great female magician against her duty to her family. The feel of the story is supported by the book’s elegant typography and creative use of inline images for chapter openers and ornamental line breaks.
“Our ‘base’ template is pretty open,” says Farrin. “In our own in-house procedure documents, we have a set of recommended page margins and rules of thumb about font size and font leading, but the production editors and I really enjoy drawing from the cover artwork of our books to come up with creative designs, so we don’t cling too tightly to our baseline.”
Title font: Orpheus
Text font: Adobe Garamond Pro (included in Hederis default fonts)
The Unraveling is a novel by Benjamin Rosenbaum set in a distant future in a world where each person has evolved to have multiple bodies. Young Fift is an only child of the Staid gender, struggling to maintain zir position in the system while developing a friendship with the acclaimed bioengineer Shria — a controversial and intriguing friendship, since Shria is Vail-gendered. “Some books are more complex than others, like The Unraveling, and those require a more elaborate style sheet that the team consults whenever making a change,” says Farrin. She describes the book as “an eclectic mix of ‘found documents’ interwoven into a story” — found documents (depicted in “Interludes” throughout the book) that were actually created in Hederis alongside the main text! Additionally, the book design features a recurring three-hexagons motif to represent the Staid gender.
Title font: Apron Heavy Roman
Text font: Petrona
The All-Consuming World
The All-Consuming World is the debut novel of acclaimed writer Cassandra Khaw. This explosive and introspective exploration of humans and machines, life and death, follows Maya and her diverse team of broken, diminished outlaws who must get back together to solve the mystery of their last, disastrous mission and to rescue a missing and much-changed comrade. Although this book is in many ways just as striking as Erewhon’s other bold designs, Farrin considers this one of the titles where “the storytelling is showcased rather than the format. We have to balance when to enhance the story with design and when to get ourselves out of the way.”
Title font: Pacifica Condensed
Text font: Petrona