Jakob Vala

Jakob Vala - Designer Tick

Portland, United States

I'm the designer at Tin House, where I specialize in literary fiction, poetry, and memoir. I have experience in other genres, as well.

Request a quote
Reedsy profile URL https://reedsy.com/jakob-vala
Verified identity Lock

Overview

Reviews (5)
StarStarStarStarStarStar greyStar greyStar greyStar greyStar grey

I was born in Portland, Oregon and grew up in a small cabin in the middle of the woods near Port Townsend, Washington. I attended a one-room schoolhouse where I learned to bake soufflés and read Shakespeare. I have a BFA in Communication Design from Pacific Northwest College of Art. I work for Tin House, where I design books and other things that are read.

NOTE: I'm not designing covers at this time; I'm only taking requests for interior design and layout. Feel free to message me for more samples.

Languages
English
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Education & Reference
History
Fiction
Historical Fiction
LGBTQ
Literature
Poetry
Thriller
Young Adult & Teen

Work experience

Senior Designer

Tin House Books and Magazine
June, 2011 – Present (about 7 years)

Art Director

Submit Magazine
September, 2009 – May, 2011 (over 1 year)

Designer

Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
January, 2006 – June, 2008 (over 2 years)

Freelance Designer

Self-employed
December, 2001 – Present (over 16 years)

Portfolio (17 selected works)

There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce

Morgan Parker

A TIME Magazine Best Paperback of 2017A Publishers Weekly Best Poetry Collection of SpringA Paris Review Staff PickA Most Anticipated Book of 2017 at NPR.org, BuzzFeed, VICE, NYLON, and more"This is a marvelous book. See for yourself. Morgan Parker is a fearlessly forward and forward-thinking literary star." ―Terrance Hayes The only thing more beautiful than Beyoncé is God, and God is a black ... read more

A TIME Magazine Best Paperback of 2017A Publishers Weekly Best Poetry Collection of SpringA Paris Review Staff PickA Most Anticipated Book of 2017 at NPR.org, BuzzFeed, VICE, NYLON, and more"This is a marvelous book. See for yourself. Morgan Parker is a fearlessly forward and forward-thinking literary star." ―Terrance Hayes The only thing more beautiful than Beyoncé is God, and God is a black ... read more

The Hidden Machinery: Essays on Writing

Margot Livesey

A masterclass for those who love reading literature and for those who aspire to write it.“Read everything that is good for the good of your soul. Then learn to read as a writer, to search out that hidden machinery, which it is the business of art to conceal and the business of the apprentice to comprehend.” In The Hidden Machinery, critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling author Mar... read more

A masterclass for those who love reading literature and for those who aspire to write it.“Read everything that is good for the good of your soul. Then learn to read as a writer, to search out that hidden machinery, which it is the business of art to conceal and the business of the apprentice to comprehend.” In The Hidden Machinery, critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling author Mar... read more

The Mobius Strip Club of Grief

Bianca Stone

"Bianca Stone is a brilliant transcriber of her generation's emerging pathology and sensibility." ―John Ashbery A Paris Review Staff Pick and Most Anticipated Book of 2018 at NYLON, Bustle, Autostraddle, and more.The Möbius Strip Club of Grief is a collection of poems that take place in a burlesque purgatory where the living pay―dearly, with both money and conscience―to watch the dead perform ... read more

"Bianca Stone is a brilliant transcriber of her generation's emerging pathology and sensibility." ―John Ashbery A Paris Review Staff Pick and Most Anticipated Book of 2018 at NYLON, Bustle, Autostraddle, and more.The Möbius Strip Club of Grief is a collection of poems that take place in a burlesque purgatory where the living pay―dearly, with both money and conscience―to watch the dead perform ... read more

Ursula K. Le Guin: Conversations on Writing

Ursula K. Le Guin, David Naimon

Ursula K. Le Guin discusses her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry?both her process and her philosophy?with all the wisdom, profundity, and rigor we expect from one of the great writers of the last century.When the New York Times referred to Ursula K. Le Guin as America’s greatest writer of science fiction, they just might have undersold her legacy. It’s hard to look at her vast body of work?nove... read more

Ursula K. Le Guin discusses her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry?both her process and her philosophy?with all the wisdom, profundity, and rigor we expect from one of the great writers of the last century.When the New York Times referred to Ursula K. Le Guin as America’s greatest writer of science fiction, they just might have undersold her legacy. It’s hard to look at her vast body of work?nove... read more

Who Is Vera Kelly?

Rosalie Knecht

"The twisty, literary, woman-driven spy novel you've always wanted to read. Dazzling." ―Amy Stewart, New York Times bestselling author of Girl Waits With Gun A Most Anticipated Book of 2018 at The Huffington Post, Library Journal, Book Riot, Bustle, Autostraddle, and more.New York City, 1962. Vera Kelly is struggling to make rent and blend into the underground gay scene in Greenwich Village. S... read more

"The twisty, literary, woman-driven spy novel you've always wanted to read. Dazzling." ―Amy Stewart, New York Times bestselling author of Girl Waits With Gun A Most Anticipated Book of 2018 at The Huffington Post, Library Journal, Book Riot, Bustle, Autostraddle, and more.New York City, 1962. Vera Kelly is struggling to make rent and blend into the underground gay scene in Greenwich Village. S... read more

This Is Between Us

Kevin Sampsell

This Is Between Us, Kevin Sampsell's utterly engrossing debut novel, is a confessional tale of love between two resilient people who have staked their hearts on each other. Chronicling five years of a troubled romance, This Is Between Us offers an intimate view of one couple’s struggle―from the illicit beginnings of sexual obsession to the fragile architecture of a pieced-together family. Full... read more

This Is Between Us, Kevin Sampsell's utterly engrossing debut novel, is a confessional tale of love between two resilient people who have staked their hearts on each other. Chronicling five years of a troubled romance, This Is Between Us offers an intimate view of one couple’s struggle―from the illicit beginnings of sexual obsession to the fragile architecture of a pieced-together family. Full... read more

Us Conductors: A Novel

Sean Michaels

Us Conductors is the story of the man who created the most magical musical instrument in the world, the theremin. It's a tale of electricity and espionage, jazz and kung-fu, Harlem and Siberia, and the way even doomed love can keep you alive. Locked in a cabin aboard a ship bearing him back to Russia and away from the love of his life, Lev Sergeyvich Termen begins to type his story: a tale of ... read more

Us Conductors is the story of the man who created the most magical musical instrument in the world, the theremin. It's a tale of electricity and espionage, jazz and kung-fu, Harlem and Siberia, and the way even doomed love can keep you alive. Locked in a cabin aboard a ship bearing him back to Russia and away from the love of his life, Lev Sergeyvich Termen begins to type his story: a tale of ... read more

The Search for Heinrich Schlögel: A Novel

Martha Baillie

Brimming with the creativity behind David Mitchell's masterpiece Cloud Atlas in a far north setting, The Search for Heinrich Schlogel is a sophisticated story with magical underpinnings. Martha Baillie’s hypnotic novel follows Heinrich Schlögel from Germany to Canada, where he sets out on a solo hike into the interior of Baffin Island. His journey quickly becomes surreal; he experiences strang... read more

Brimming with the creativity behind David Mitchell's masterpiece Cloud Atlas in a far north setting, The Search for Heinrich Schlogel is a sophisticated story with magical underpinnings. Martha Baillie’s hypnotic novel follows Heinrich Schlögel from Germany to Canada, where he sets out on a solo hike into the interior of Baffin Island. His journey quickly becomes surreal; he experiences strang... read more

Loitering: New and Collected Essays

Charles D'Ambrosio

New York TimesNotable Book Winner of the Washington State Book Prize D'Ambrosio is already considered one of America's premier short story writers, but Loitering cements his place as one of our great living essayists. Charles D’Ambrosio’s essay collection Orphans spawned something of a cult following. In the decade since the tiny limited-edition volume sold out its print run, its devotees have... read more

New York TimesNotable Book Winner of the Washington State Book Prize D'Ambrosio is already considered one of America's premier short story writers, but Loitering cements his place as one of our great living essayists. Charles D’Ambrosio’s essay collection Orphans spawned something of a cult following. In the decade since the tiny limited-edition volume sold out its print run, its devotees have... read more

The Boatmaker

John Benditt

Part fable, part allegory, The Boatmaker is the haunting and passionate story of a voyage of self-discovery. A fierce and complicated man wakes from a fever dream compelled to build a boat and sail away from the isolated island where he was born. Encountering the wider world for the first time, the reluctant hero falls into a destructive love affair, is swept up into a fanatical religious move... read more

Part fable, part allegory, The Boatmaker is the haunting and passionate story of a voyage of self-discovery. A fierce and complicated man wakes from a fever dream compelled to build a boat and sail away from the isolated island where he was born. Encountering the wider world for the first time, the reluctant hero falls into a destructive love affair, is swept up into a fanatical religious move... read more

Our Endless Numbered Days: A Novel

Claire Fuller

Part fairy-tale, part magic, yet always savagely realistic Claire Fuller's haunting and powerful debut Our Endless Numbered Days will appeal to fans of Eowyn Ivey's The Snow Child and Christian Baker Kline's Orphan Train . Peggy Hillcoat is eight years old when her survivalist father, James, takes her from their home in London to a remote hut in the woods and tells her that the rest of the wor... read more

Part fairy-tale, part magic, yet always savagely realistic Claire Fuller's haunting and powerful debut Our Endless Numbered Days will appeal to fans of Eowyn Ivey's The Snow Child and Christian Baker Kline's Orphan Train . Peggy Hillcoat is eight years old when her survivalist father, James, takes her from their home in London to a remote hut in the woods and tells her that the rest of the wor... read more

A Hanging at Cinder Bottom: A Novel

Glenn Taylor

Stylish historical fiction in the tradition of True Grit and Carter Beats the Devil, A Hanging at Cinder Bottom is an epic novel of exile and retribution, a heist tale and a love story both. The year is 1910. Halley’s Comet has just signaled the end of the world, and Jack Johnson has knocked out the “Great White Hope,” Jim Jeffries. Keystone, West Virginia, is the region’s biggest boomtown, an... read more

Stylish historical fiction in the tradition of True Grit and Carter Beats the Devil, A Hanging at Cinder Bottom is an epic novel of exile and retribution, a heist tale and a love story both. The year is 1910. Halley’s Comet has just signaled the end of the world, and Jack Johnson has knocked out the “Great White Hope,” Jim Jeffries. Keystone, West Virginia, is the region’s biggest boomtown, an... read more

The Coyote's Bicycle: The Untold Story of 7,000 Bicycles and the Rise of a Borderland Empire

Kimball Taylor

For readers of Jon Krakauer and Susan Orlean, The Coyote's Bicycle brings to life a never-before-told phenomenon at our southern border, and the human drama of those who would cross.It wasn’t surprising when the first abandoned bicycles were found along the dirt roads and farmland just across the border from Tijuana, but before long they were arriving in droves. The bikes went from curiosity, ... read more

For readers of Jon Krakauer and Susan Orlean, The Coyote's Bicycle brings to life a never-before-told phenomenon at our southern border, and the human drama of those who would cross.It wasn’t surprising when the first abandoned bicycles were found along the dirt roads and farmland just across the border from Tijuana, but before long they were arriving in droves. The bikes went from curiosity, ... read more

Montauk

Max Frisch

Max Frisch's candid story of his affair with a young woman illuminates a lifetime of relationships. Casting himself as both subject and observer, Frisch reflects on his marriages, children, friendships, and careers; a holiday weekend in Long Island is a trigger to recount and question events and aspects of his own life, along with creeping fears of mortality. He paints a bittersweet portrait t... read more

Max Frisch's candid story of his affair with a young woman illuminates a lifetime of relationships. Casting himself as both subject and observer, Frisch reflects on his marriages, children, friendships, and careers; a holiday weekend in Long Island is a trigger to recount and question events and aspects of his own life, along with creeping fears of mortality. He paints a bittersweet portrait t... read more

Pieces of Soap: Essays

Stanley Elkin

With a wickedly witty touch, Elkin’s essays takes readers on a tour of American life in the 20th century. Stanley Elkin was one of our great American writers. “A divine exploiter of the idiocies and intricacies of our language,” as John Irving put it, and nowhere is that more clear than this collection of essays, which find Elkin wresting hilarity and heartbreak from the most unlikely of sources.

With a wickedly witty touch, Elkin’s essays takes readers on a tour of American life in the 20th century. Stanley Elkin was one of our great American writers. “A divine exploiter of the idiocies and intricacies of our language,” as John Irving put it, and nowhere is that more clear than this collection of essays, which find Elkin wresting hilarity and heartbreak from the most unlikely of sources.

Little Sister: A Novel

Barbara Gowdy

A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice "[A] supernatural domestic thriller and a crackling tour de force." ―The New York TimesThunderstorms are rolling across the summer sky. Every time one breaks, Rose Bowan loses consciousness and has vivid, realistic dreams about being in another woman's body. Is Rose merely dreaming? Or is she, in fact, inhabiting a stranger? Disturbed yet entranced,... read more

A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice "[A] supernatural domestic thriller and a crackling tour de force." ―The New York TimesThunderstorms are rolling across the summer sky. Every time one breaks, Rose Bowan loses consciousness and has vivid, realistic dreams about being in another woman's body. Is Rose merely dreaming? Or is she, in fact, inhabiting a stranger? Disturbed yet entranced,... read more

Last Sext

Melissa Broder

In her electric fourth collection, Melissa Broder penetrates the itch of existence and explores numberless deaths: the annihilation of self, the bereavement of love, the destruction of fantasy, the transmutation, even, of our ideas of dying. One of the New Yorker's Books We Loved in 2016 What emerges is an infinite series of false endings―each a trap door containing the possibility for alchemy... read more

In her electric fourth collection, Melissa Broder penetrates the itch of existence and explores numberless deaths: the annihilation of self, the bereavement of love, the destruction of fantasy, the transmutation, even, of our ideas of dying. One of the New Yorker's Books We Loved in 2016 What emerges is an infinite series of false endings―each a trap door containing the possibility for alchemy... read more

Jakob has 5 reviews

StarStarStarStarStarStar greyStar greyStar greyStar greyStar grey
StarStarStarStarStarStar greyStar greyStar greyStar greyStar grey
Professionalism
StarStarStarStarStarStar greyStar greyStar greyStar greyStar grey
StarStarStarStarStarStar greyStar greyStar greyStar greyStar grey
Quality
StarStarStarStarStarStar greyStar greyStar greyStar greyStar grey
StarStarStarStarStarStar greyStar greyStar greyStar greyStar grey
Value
StarStarStarStarStarStar greyStar greyStar greyStar greyStar grey
StarStarStarStarStarStar greyStar greyStar greyStar greyStar grey
Communication
StarStarStarStarStarStar greyStar greyStar greyStar greyStar grey
StarStarStarStarStarStar greyStar greyStar greyStar greyStar grey

kristin tierney

Once again, working with Jakob has far exceed my expectations. He is always willing and available to answer any of my questions ~ even when those questions are outside the scope of what we have contracted for. Highly recommend.

Read more

kristin tierney, April 2018


kristin tierney

Working with Jakob was amazing. Being a first-time author/self-publisher, I am green, to say the least! Jakob guided me through everything he was contracted to assist me with and then some. This could not have gone any better. Far exceeded my expectations. Highly recommend working with Jakob.

Read more

kristin tierney, March 2018


Waddy Thompson

This was my second project with Jakob and the best endorsement I can give is that we already are working on a third one.

Read more

Waddy Thompson, November 2017


Adam Steiner

Jakob is a true artist, but at the same time very easy to work with. His typesetting of The Censor's Hand was beautiful, and many of my readers noticed.

Read more

Adam Steiner, May 2017


Waddy Thompson

Could not possibly have been easier to work with. Always a quick response and excellent work.

Read more

Waddy Thompson, February 2017

Explore the Reedsy Community

Reedsy is a community of top publishing professionals. Join Reedsy today to browse 1000+ profiles.

18c7443f6fbc99b750542d7f9ccc83202cf3894d

Elisa Vernazza

Graphic designer specialising in typography and typesetting. Non-fiction art, design, architecture and transportation.

London, UK

1c117cd3c2f898b8687d866d5d3ef5a208846925

Todd Bates

A book designer with 15 years experience working with the likes of Pixar, NASCAR, Lucasfilm, Marvel, Barnes & Noble and Chronicle Books

Saint Petersburg, United States

To view 1,000+ more profiles, Join Reedsy