ABDA Blog

Q & A with Anna Maley-Fadgyas

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Based in Perth, Anna Maley-Fadgyas has worked in design studios, designed surfing magazines and over the past decade, designed books
for UWA Publishing. She now combines freelance life with being a mum.

Did you mean to end up as a book designer? What was your trajectory?

Layout has always been my favourite design discipline – at university and in the first studios I worked in. I snagged a job designing magazines which was almost perfect except it made me want to design things that last. That brought me to book design and I never looked back.

Does art — gallery, museum art — inspire you? Or film, TV etc.? If so, what do you like?

Yes, there’s something about being able to see the original marks made by the artist. Anya Brock is a favourite local artist. I don’t watch much TV but I did get hooked on the Scandinavian Noir series, The Bridge/Bron by Hans Rosenfeldt. It transported me into another world in the same way that great art and music does.

What do you listen to when you work?

When I’m laying the foundations of a project I like to work in silence. Once that’s sorted and I’m in the building stage, however, I like to get lost in music. Philip Glass is one favourite that comes to mind.

What question do you least enjoy from people when they discover you design books?

I find it curious that many people assume that books just come together by themselves! ‘If you don’t write the text and or create the images, then what exactly do I do?’

What is your favourite tool on the computer? (Not just a program but within a program or OS)

Command-Z, Shift-Command-Z. Undo, Redo.

Best or favourite situation for getting creative.

Usually away from the desk! Being immersed in nature often helps.

Which creative person/identity/professional would you most want to impress?

Becky Chilcot from Chil3 design, a local book designer and a fellow of the International Society of Typographic Designers.

Which book would you like to design the cover for?

I’m looking forward to designing the cover of the book I am making for my son.

Who is one of your favourite book designers and why?

Allison Colpoys. We worked together on magazines briefly and then I watched as she took Australian book design by storm. She is in a league of her own and truly inspiring.

Your favourite place (store, library, blog etc.) to look at books?

I like walking to New Edition bookshop in Fremantle. I like coming in off the street and entering the tactile and fantastical world of books and then walking back into the real world again.

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