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Upstream Book Design

A redesign of Mary Oliver's Upstream: Selected Essays that showcases the text in contemporary light.


From the inner pages to the outer jacket, the experience of reading this edition feels balanced, airy, and delicate—much like the writing style of Oliver in this collection of essays.

Starting with the book jacket, the reader is immediately introduced to the design system that I use throughout the rest of the book. The system features large amounts of white space, delicate typefaces, and soft tones of cream and gray.


The jacket transitions into the primary book block by matching the front jacket flap to the endpaper. This side's endpaper was developed by using a scaled version of the same small image seen on the front of the jacket, effectively enveloping the reader into Oliver's environment.


The simplicity of the design follows into the section opener spread, which has the most white space in the book. The separation of the information provides the right amount of visual interest and offers typographic hierarchy without change in typeface, size, or weight.


Finally, the primary text spreads, featuring a callout element, an essay opener, folio and running head alongside the main writing. All of the design decisions that I made are represented on these spreads—white space, minimalistic typography,
and delicacy.

This edition of Upstream finds spacial balance and creates a reading environment that feels comfortable yet classy in its contemporary style.

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