Diane Kolak

Diane Kolak - Designer

Traverse City, MI, USA

Print publication design expert 25+ years, lover of paper and ink, typography, language, and creative/analytical balance.

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I'm a print publication design specialist with a marketing background and 25 years of experience. My designs are stylish, smart, and persuasive—using both aesthetic and analytical elements to generate attraction and attachment to your story. I also have experience writing for advertising and editorial, and I bring my love of the English language to my designs. I've worked extensively from concept through delivery on publications and books of regional, environmental, architectural, culinary, and academic interest. While I've designed more magazines than books at this point, I'm shifting my focus toward the permanence and satisfaction of book design.

I'm an intuitive type who can quickly see the "nugget" of interest in a message or story that will appeal to a particular audience. Through my hobbies, I have knowledge of sewing, fashion, textiles, fine art, classical music appreciation and performance, gardening, architecture and interior design, and luxe-budget travel. I love to design books related to these topics.

I hold a B.A. in Art and Visual Communications and began my design career at a B-to-B marketing firm where learning about business was germane to my position. In my work today, I strive for a perfect balance of beauty and strategy.
Cooking, Food, Wine, & Spirits
Contemporary Fiction
Short Story


  • B.A. Visual Communications, Calvin University


  • Gold Award, General Excellence, City & Regional Magazine Association, 2003
  • Silver Award, General Excellence, City & Regional Magazine Association, 2008
  • Gold Award, General Excellence, City & Regional Magazine Association, 2005
  • Magazine of the Year, International Regional Magazine Association, 2008
  • First Place, Tabloid, Herbert Kassner Journalism Contest, 2013

Work experience

Owner of Page 9 Design: Publication Design Specialist

April, 2009 – Present (about 12 years)

I run a one-woman design studio specializing in beautiful, smart, and effective publications. Blending the beauty of typography, imagery, and color in ink on reams of glorious paper is my number-one focus. I internalize the author's story or message, then convey it directly to their defined audience in a way that is not just appealing but irresistible. I design covers that attract, sell, and endure. My interior layouts sit back elegantly and bring the story to life with the least effort for the reader. My background lies heavily in publication design with a foundation in branding, marketing, and advertising for commercial clients. This blend gives me a sharp perspective on cover performance on the store shelf and in the online marketplace.

Art Director

MyNorth Media
April, 2000 – June, 2009 (about 9 years)

As Art Director for Traverse, Northern Michigan's Magazine and Northern Home & Cottage I designed 18 magazines a year, plus special and custom publications while managing a small team of designers and photographers and working closely with production staff. I was part of the staff that won four national awards for Traverse Magazine in the mid-2000s.

Graphic Designer

Williams Group
January, 1995 – April, 2000 (about 5 years)

Graphic designer for print and interactive projects, information graphics, advertising and exhibit design in a marketing agency.

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