Columbia Global Reports is a new publishing imprint with the goal to produce six slim original paperbacks that combine in-depth journalism with on-site reporting to illuminate underreported issues. Founding Publisher Camille McDuffie turned to Charlotte Strick and Claire Williams Martinez of Strick&Williams to brand the imprint, part of a wider Columbia University initiative on globalization, in a way that gives the book series a unique look but fits comfortably within the larger University, and that underscores the timeliness of the content and helps makes the issues accessible to general interest readers.
The project includes logo, branding, jackets, interiors, and a new website. Charlotte Strick explains the design team’s approach:
“People travel the globe to know it better, and to locate themselves within the larger context of our world. The logo we designed implies this exploration by playing off the natural staggered rhythm provided by the letter “O”, inherent in each word within the publisher’s name. The circles evolve through three stages of rotation, referencing the ever-changing nature of our planet.
“Columbia Global Reports is conceived of as a publication series. The client requested that we incorporate their name on the front of every book, without requiring the covers to conform to a templated design. To that end, we’ve locked the logo to the upper right corner of each cover, and designed unique artwork for each publication. The logotype retains the freedom to respond to the individual cover designs through color or orientation.
“The CGR website is primarily responsible for providing information on publications, so that potential readers will find the books and access the CGR community through author events. As the community grows, increasing numbers of people will turn to the organization for perspective and the website may become an additional channel leveraged to tell stories. The design of the site references the role of journalism at CGR through a classic broadside layout. The background gradient creates dimension to support the books and stories offered up by CGR. Jason Yovanoff at Enabled Labs built the website, offering invaluable expertise and support throughout the process.”
Individually, Charlotte Strick (pictured right) and Claire Williams Martinez (pictured left) have extensive experience working for publishers and design agencies, respectively. Among her creative positions, Charlotte served as art director at Farrar, Straus & Giroux from many years. Claire designed for Chicago-based Studio Blue and VSA Partners, and is a former President of the AIGA Chicago. In March 2014, the two formed the multidisciplinary design firm that bears their name and through which they collaborate with clients in education, the arts, books, non-profits and more.
Key members of the CGR Team include Nicholas Lemann, Director, who is Dean Emeritus of Columbia Journalism School and currently a professor at the school; Jimmy So, Editor, who was a cultural and books editor at The Daily Beast; as well as Camille McDuffie, former President of Goldberg McDuffie Communications, a literary public relations firm known for its work with a range of high-profile authors. McDuffie notes that the designs “have really helped us get started as a new publisher with booksellers and readers responding to the jackets and website.” The inaugural book and e-book, Shaky Ground, launched earlier this week; shown here are other titles now in the cue.