This is the first step, working together to “see” the book clearly and define its ultimate objectives. This is key, and right here in Step One we bring our clients together with our writers, designers, photographers and printers, to make sure we are all on the same page -- and working at the best possible price to meet our client’s needs.
From there, we develop a budget and target deadlines for every phase of the project. Then we go to work.
We’re happy to start with documents, for use as base material, but to bring our books to life we rely on flesh and blood, meaning in-depth interviews with our subjects and principal players. Through interviews, we rill down to the core of the story, using the words and insights of the people doing the work. Then, of course, comes one of the greatest challenges: The Writing.
We have a team of gifted photographers and they work hand-in-glove with our designers and writers, always with a common aim: Avoid cliches. Find fresh, original images to help tell the story and bring the themes and characters vividly to life. When appropriate, we also do extensive photo research looking for compelling archival images that will add critical historical and cultural context to the story we are telling.
This is a key step and a very exciting one too. Unlike typical text-driven books, Val de Grace books use elegant design and layout to add fresh and distinctive dimensions to the story. In this step, we work closely with our clients to develop a look and feel that fits with their aesthetics and also accentuates the power of the book. Done right, this is high art, and as we are fond of saying, "At Val de Grace, all the arts flow together."
Top-quality printing is essential. Without it, the final book will never have that lush, hand-crafted feel that makes for a keepsake book that you will cherish for many years to come. Thanks to our longtime partners at Toppan Printing in Japan and China, we are able to deliver that quality at a surprisingly reasonable price. Then for distribution and promotion, we partner with one of the best in the business: Publishers Group West, a division of the distribution giant, Ingram. Easy, eh?