Back in 1999 a designer friend of mine referred me to Rum & Reggae Guidebooks. At the time, R&R wanted to redesign their travel books focusing on countries with beaches. Their attitude was their brand: irreverent, witty, and informative.
I worked closely with author and editor Jonathan Runge. We went back and forth through several design approaches and in the end settled on a design with typography that rests on energetic and sophisticated Scala and bold and edgy Journal.
I developed a vocabulary of icons to aid readability and findability of the minutia of the restaurants and accommodations. I also developed a coding system for R&R to use on the editorial side. They provided styled Word docs with codes for icons. I translated the files with Torquemada and imported to Quark Xpress. The system reduced the cost of composition.
The books are graced by illustrations by Eric Orner. My favorite covers from the series have his vibrant and whimsical art.
When the economy crashed, R&R was hit hard, and like many businesses, and our work of 10 years together ended. I’m still dreaming of visiting the places in those guidebooks . . .