Larry E. Hirst

Larry E. Hirst - Designer

Memphis, TN, United States

Freelance cover to cover book design, production and illustration artist.

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Overview

The sensory pleasure of a well-designed book always had appeal to me. As a child, opening a brand new book was an adventure of sight, touch and smell that added flavor to the story on the pages. Those experiences drew me to the world of book publishing as an adult. My actual degree was in fine art, but I always say I got my education at the University of Tennessee under the tutelage of an excellent Design/Production Manager. This was a sharp learning curve. In those days we designed for mono-type and letterpress. There were no shortcuts. We cast off the typewritten manuscripts by counting the number of characters in manuscript, performed a book layout arrived at a font and type sizes to arrive at a near perfect estimated book page count for the bidding procedures before sending the marked manuscript for composition to the winning bidder for galleys, revised galleys and then to pages (stacks and stacks of printed paper proofs), signatures and finally the bindery and more proofs.

Today's young designers probably wouldn't recognize the paste-ups, with orange Amberlith insertions for photos, all meticulously done by hand. It was tedious and corrections were plentiful, but the reward was great when the cases arrived at our warehouse.

From my apprenticeship at Tennessee, I went on to be Design/Production Director for South Carolina and then University Press of Mississippi, which produced books from all the state-funded universities. As director, I worked with authors, editors, printers and marketing in addition to design. Authors can be a little prickly at times. These books are, after all, their "babies" which they have labored to create. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing an author's face light up when presented with a well-produced book.

Eventually I left the publishing world for academia, teaching advanced graphic design, perspective drawing and photography at Delta State University. All the while, I kept my hand in with publishing, doing freelance on the side. Eventually my freelance business was robust enough for me to establish it as my full-time career. This didn't last long though. I was tempted by a client into the world of computers as Creative Director for an interactive software developer. This broadened my experiences into video production, an excitingly treacherous process.

Over the years I have designed more than 500 books, two statewide magazines, three online educational series and countless promotional projects and assorted assignments. I was proud of the awards I've won because peer recognition reinforced my continuing education in the field then I simply lost interest in entering them.

Now retired working as freelance artist I still enjoy freelance book design from my home studio in Memphis, TN.

Languages
English
Fiction
Adventure
Cultural & Ethnic Themes
Historical Fiction
Literature
Poetry
Non-Fiction
Art
Biographies & Memoirs
History
Philosophy
Publishing

Awards

  • Chicago Book Show 1978
  • AIGA Design 1983
  • Chicago Book Show 1979

Work experience

Graphic Artist, Illustrator

Self-employed
February, 2008 – Present (almost 11 years)

Cover to cover book design, formatting and production control and sales assets

Creative Director

Invest Learning
November, 1990 – June, 1999 (over 8 years)

In charge of all print materials, video production and graphic assets for learning website and lesson materials

Creative Director/Producer

Centec Learning/Mergent Technologies Group
January, 1990 – March, 1996 (about 6 years)

managed the in-house multimedia department; implementation from the ground level

Senior Creative Director

Applied Interactive Technologies
January, 1985 – January, 1990 (about 5 years)

Producer/video director, project manager, outsourced printing and video production completing projects

Graphic Design Professor

Delta State University
August, 1982 – January, 1985 (over 2 years)

Professor: Graphics III & IV, advanced photography, perspective drawing, ceramics, consultant to faculty for in-print materials

Design/Production Manager

University of Mississippi Press
March, 1979 – June, 1982 (over 3 years)

By my own hand: all Book Design/Production, all advertising graphic assets

Design/Production Director

University of South Carolina Press
July, 1976 – December, 1979 (over 3 years)

By my own hand: all Book Design/Production, all advertising graphic assets

Graphic Artist/Illustrator

University of Tennessee Press
January, 1971 – January, 1976 (about 5 years)

Assistant to Design/Production Manager

Portfolio (4 selected works)

Mississippi

Bern Keating, Franke Keating

Book by Keating, Bern, Keating, Franke

Book by Keating, Bern, Keating, Franke

The Papers of Henry Laurens, Volume 15

The journal and narrative record of American politician, Henry Laurens. It begins with his resignation from the presidency of the Continental Congress and concludes only days after his son's death in battle. Other events documented include the British invasion of South Carolina.

The journal and narrative record of American politician, Henry Laurens. It begins with his resignation from the presidency of the Continental Congress and concludes only days after his son's death in battle. Other events documented include the British invasion of South Carolina.

The Papers of Henry Laurens, Volume 12: November 1, 1777-March 15, 1778

The journal and narrative record of American politician, Henry Laurens. It begins with his resignation from the presidency of the Continental Congress and concludes only days after his son's death in battle. Other events documented include the British invasion of South Carolina.

The journal and narrative record of American politician, Henry Laurens. It begins with his resignation from the presidency of the Continental Congress and concludes only days after his son's death in battle. Other events documented include the British invasion of South Carolina.

In Earnest: Being the Humor, Wit and Whimsy of a Small Southern Town (Life in Earnest) (Volume 1)

Bob Cotten

The town of Earnest is a small Southern town populated by some truly funny people. The humor, like the characters themselves, is witty and eccentric, and is guaranteed to improve the health, fitness and longevity of your funnybone.

The town of Earnest is a small Southern town populated by some truly funny people. The humor, like the characters themselves, is witty and eccentric, and is guaranteed to improve the health, fitness and longevity of your funnybone.

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