Read an interview with Floor van Lierop, designer of Ans Westra: A life in photography


Kete Books interviews Floor van Lierop, book designer, about her work on Ans Westra: A life in photography by Paul Moon:

Floor, hi! Can you tell us about yourself and your book design career?

Kia ora! I’m Floor van Lierop and I'm a graphic designer from the Netherlands. I moved to Aotearoa 15 years ago, with my partner and young family. We were looking for a different, more outdoorsy lifestyle and found it in beautiful, sunny Nelson. 

I've been working as a designer since graduating art school but didn't do much book design until 2018 when I met Robbie Burton of Potton & Burton Publishing. Robbie was willing to let me design a whole range of books for him and I couldn't believe how much I loved it! After a while other publishers started approaching me as well and book design has since become my main type of design work. 

What’s your usual design process when you start laying out a book? 

Like most designers I tend to be very much directed by the content of the book and the material supplied. I start by looking at the images if there are any and by reading parts of the text to get a feel for the vibe, structure and extent of the book. Most publishers provide a design brief that outlines any ideas and wishes they have for the design so that's a really helpful starting point for further research and experimentation with typography and composition. That then leads to the first design mock-ups made with the elements supplied by the publisher. 

Ans was Dutch and you are Dutch. Did that inform some of your design thinking?

To some extent, yes. Of course I was aware of our shared motherland and migration to the other side of the world and I wanted to honour her with a design that I hope she would have approved of. I also felt that it would be appropriate for the book to have a slightly Dutch feel to reflect Ans' background. It's not easy to define what 'a Dutch feel' actually looks like in terms of the layout of a book like this – perhaps a fairly minimalistic, clean layout and fuss free approach? But having grown up exposed to the visual culture of the Netherlands and having been educated there as a designer means I probably infuse a certain amount of 'Dutchness' into whatever I make anyway so it didnt require any special effort.’

Read the rest of the interview here.