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Student work at Tyler School of Art + Architecture

Art Direction: Paul Kepple and Scott Laserow

This project won best publication design awarded to one graduating student by the Graphic and Interactive Design department at the Tyler School of Art + Architecture.


Skills: layout and production

Spoon River Anthology

The original works by Edgar Lee Masters is an anthology of poems about characters in the fictional town of Spoon River, Illinois. Originally a plain textbook, this design embodies the paper ephemera of the 1910s with a modern and lively color palette. The final deliverables include a cover, endpapers, title page, and specially designed pages.


spoon river anthology book cover design


I was inspired by the fictional characters that Edgar Lee Masters envisioned and felt that I could add an exciting visual element to the book. Each poem in the anthology features a fictional person who has died in Spoon River. The content ranges from serious to philosophical to tongue-in-cheek humor and is somewhat of an epitaph for that person.

Each designed page’s content correlates to the vintage ephemera it’s inspired by, such as the Hainsfeather poem about the train ride he took that’s designed to look like an old train ticket.


The finished book is 7 x 10 in, made with bright textured colored papers for the designed pages and cream-colored for the regular. I chose colored paper to blend the paper tone with the ink. There is also no black ink to amplify the color choices and modernize the vintage style. I printed a portion of the book (the whole is over 300 pages), kettle stitched the signatures and case bound using the color paper. The final is hardcover with a 3 piece spine as shown in the mock-ups.


spoon river anthology diploma
spoon river anthology telegram
spoon river anthology train ticket
spoon river anthology flat spreads23
spoon river anthology flat spreads
spoon river anthology newspaper