Willowgreen Publishing Catalog

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread,
places to play in and pray in,
where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.

[John Muir]

Past catalogs

2009 Catalog

The 2005 and 2006 Willowgreen Publishing catalogs (above, left) were laid out in QuarkXpress. I used Adobe InDesign for the 2007 and 2008 layouts (above, right). The 2009 catalog (right) has recently shipped.

Every August, I look forward to this job. The owner of Willowgreen, Jim Miller, is a photographer so I have an endless supply of inspiring photographs from which to choose—a delight for a publication designer.


The Caregiver’s Book

The healthiest way to care for another is to care for yourself.
[James E. Miller]

The Caregiver’s Book, released September, 2008 by Willowgreen Publishing, is a second edition. As such, I tried to capture colors and design elements from the first edition so that the two printings would appear related. I changed the typography, overall size and images to be in keeping with other books recently published by Willowgreen. Jim Miller’s photography in this book is stunning.

This Time of Caregiving

Dreams are illustrations
from the book your soul is writing about you.

[Marsha Norman]
Caregiver Book

This Time of Caregiving is a book published by Willowgreen, Inc. in 2007. It has four-color printing on the coated cover, and one color printing (black) on the uncoated inside. This kept the unit cost low enough that the retail price could be kept under $5.00.

The author, James E. Miller, is also known for his nature photography and took the photo for the book cover. Since the uncoated paper on the inside pages would not present his photographs in the most effective manner, he decided to use a series of pencil illustrations instead. I used his photographs as resources when I rendered the drawings but altered them to fit the space where they were to be used.

Jim Miller produced a CD version (audio) and a DVD version (video) of this book in 2008. Since these are companion publications, I used the same color scheme and image for the packaging as I used for the book cover design. These products may be purchased at the Willowgreen website.

Kitchen Table Stories

As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices:
take it or leave it.

[Buddy Hackett]

Kitchen Table Stories

Kitchen Table Stories

This anthology of short stories and recipes is being assembled by The Story Circle Network. The book is 8.5x 8.5 inches and will be spiral bound.

The cover illustration started with the pencil drawing (right). The drawing was scanned and placed on a top layer in Adobe Photoshop with “multiply” applied to the layer. The color was then applied to layers below the drawing layer from front to back. For example, the apple tint is on the layer just below the drawing and the wall tint is on the first (bottom) layer. A flattened version of the tinted drawing was then positioned on the cover background in another Photoshop file. All of this was assembled in Adobe InDesign for the final CMYK printer file. Since the inside pages are one-color printing, a grayscale version of the drawing was also saved to use on the inside title page.

Monkeying Around

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.
Art is knowing which ones to keep.

[Scott Adams]


This is a carbon-dust rendering — a method used to give a continuous-tone, photographic effect to a drawing. The shaded areas are built up with a brush dipped into carbon dust.

I rendered this monkey skull drawing at a Smithsonian scientific illustration workshop in Highlands, NC. I can do better with models that hold still. I admire the skill of some artists who can render a drawing on the fly, but I’m too slow for that. I keep this drawing to remind myself of that delightful week of constant learning.

Cherokee Treasures

Wood is a living thing.
You may not have to rest when you are carving, but it needs to.

[Goingback Chiltoski — Cherokee Woodcarver]

Here’s an illustration I did that looks like pen and ink but was produced in a darkroom. Talk about old technology. I scratched this image with a hat pin into the emulsion of a piece of 4 x 5 sheet film then made contact prints. The subject matter is three Eastern Band Cherokee objects—one feather, a river reed mat and a wood carving,

Willowgreen Online

Communication is depositing a part of yourself in another person.
[Author Unknown]


Willowgreen Publishing’s online presence includes a large website, two photoblogs, and an email newsletter/blog. Unlike the businesses featured in the September 15th post, the Willowgreen sites are not designed to be identical. They do, however, share similar structures and Jim Miller’s nature photography. The main website includes over 1,000 pages and a shopping cart interface. Although it offers hundreds of pages of advice and inspiration at no charge, its main purpose is to sell Willowgreen Publishing products.

Willowgreen BlogsThe Contemplative Photographer is a non-commercial photoblog that Jim Miller maintains to share his interest in photography. Its basic design is subtle so that it doesn’t detract from the featured photographs.

The Thoughtful Caregiver is also a non-commercial photoblog in that it offers support and inspiration to family caregivers free of charge. One of the most popular features of this blog is the free monitor wallpaper offered with each blog post.

InSight is both an email newsletter and a blog. The email introduces the topics and the blog publishes the full version of the stories. The email is produced and sent through Constant Contact at web.com. That technology allows us to make the newsletter and the blog look almost alike.