Julia Hasting: The Unusual Book Designer

Julia Hasting Selected Books

Q: What’s a book designer’s dream job?

A: To be tasked with making beautiful illustrated books employing unusual formats and treatments, and hey, don’t worry about the budget.

As a young freelance designer in Karlsruhe, Germany, Julia Hasting wasn’t even sure she wanted to visit London in 1998. She went in search of inspiration and landed a design commission, courtesy of the Phaidon art director, the legendary Alan Fletcher. The book she designed, Cream, was a superwide, thick floppy paperback vacuum packed in plastic. It crashed a few boundaries.

In this short video from online design publication Designindaba, Hasting, now creator director at Phaidon, talks about her approach to book design, including vacuum packing one project “like coffee or ham” to keep it fresh, and her efforts to ensure the books her team produces have the highest production standards, as well as design.


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