Sandra Friesen

Sandra Friesen - Designer

London, United Kingdom

I am book designer with 15 years of experience creating covers and interiors for non-fiction and illustrated books.

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Overview


Design is in my blood. I grew up in Ottawa watching my father paint signs, and typography has been a passion as long as I can remember. I studied graphic design at Emily Carr University in Vancouver and then began working in film and television creating titles and visual effects. My film and TV work continued after a move to Toronto, but a yearning to work in print led me to strike out on my own. When I began designing books, it felt like a revelation. I love how book design lets me combine visual storytelling with my love of reading. Now I call London home and work with a variety of publishers in the UK, the US and Canada.

Here is what some of my clients have to say about working with me:

The authors, who are notoriously hard to please, are “absolutely delighted” by your cover design.
—Daniel Ochsner, Production and Design Manager, University of Minnesota Press

The cover really looks great—what a fun idea, and the execution is outstanding. Nice work!
—Rachel Moeller, Assistant Production and Design Manager, University of Minnesota Press

I'm really grateful for your work and for designing such creative solutions that we're all happy with, including the authors!
—Robert Davies, Editorial and Rights Manager, The British Library

Thanks so much for the quick work. We are convinced that we’re on to an absolute winner with your cover design for Under the Shadow! We love it.
—Sara Magness, Senior Production Editor, I.B.Tauris

Wow! These cover mock ups are fantastic! You have done a great job conceptualizing a very difficult topic.
—Mike Bechthold, Production Coordinator, Wilfrid Laurier University Press

Sandra is a talented and thoroughly professional typographer. She has a discerning eye, an unerring feel for visual “rightness” on the page, and in her communication with the Press she is prompt to respond and unfailingly courteous.
— Rob Kohlmeier, Managing Editor, Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Languages
English
Non-Fiction
Art
Biographies & Memoirs
History
Humanities & Social Sciences
LGBTQ (non fiction)
Music
Philosophy
Photography
Political Science & Current Affairs
Psychology
Fiction
Poetry

Certifications

  • Bachelor of Design from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, Canada

Work experience

Book cover designer

Princeton University Press
July, 2018 – Present (over 2 years)

I provide freelance book cover design for Princeton University Press on an ongoing basis.

Book designer

Reaktion Books
July, 2018 – Present (over 2 years)

I provide freelance book cover and interior design for the British Library on an ongoing basis.

Book cover designer

British Library
February, 2017 – Present (almost 4 years)

I provide freelance book cover and interior design for the British Library on an ongoing basis.

Book cover designer

University of Minnesota Press
August, 2015 – Present (over 5 years)

I provide freelance book cover and interior design for UMN Press on an ongoing basis.

Book cover designer

University of Toronto Press
December, 2014 – Present (about 6 years)

I provide freelance book cover design for UTP on an ongoing basis.

Book cover designer

McGill-Queens University Press
February, 2014 – Present (almost 7 years)

I provide freelance book cover and interior design for MQUP on an ongoing basis.

Textbook cover designer

Pearson Canada
December, 2009 – January, 2013 (about 3 years)

Designed covers and interiors for several textbooks.

Book cover and interior designer

Wilfrid Laurier University Press
September, 2005 – Present (over 15 years)

I provide freelance book cover and interior design for WLUP on an ongoing basis.

Portfolio (36 selected works)

The New Class War

Michael Lind

An Evening Standard's Book of the Year'A tour de force.' David GoodhartAll over the West, party systems have shattered and governments have been thrown into turmoil. The embattled establishment claims that these populist insurgencies seek to overthrow liberal democracy. The truth is no less alarming but is more complex: Western democracies are being torn apart by a new class war.In this contro... read more

An Evening Standard's Book of the Year'A tour de force.' David GoodhartAll over the West, party systems have shattered and governments have been thrown into turmoil. The embattled establishment claims that these populist insurgencies seek to overthrow liberal democracy. The truth is no less alarming but is more complex: Western democracies are being torn apart by a new class war.In this contro... read more

Toronto Trailblazers: Women in Canadian Publishing (Studies in Book and Print Culture)

Ruth Panofsky

The first-ever study of women in Canadian publishing, Toronto Trailblazers delves into the cultural influence of seven key women who, despite pervasive gender bias, helped advance a modern literary culture for Canada.Publisher Irene Clarke, scholarly editors Eleanor Harman and Francess Halpenny, trade editors Sybil Hutchinson, Claire Pratt, and Anna Porter, and literary agent Bella Pomer made ... read more

The first-ever study of women in Canadian publishing, Toronto Trailblazers delves into the cultural influence of seven key women who, despite pervasive gender bias, helped advance a modern literary culture for Canada.Publisher Irene Clarke, scholarly editors Eleanor Harman and Francess Halpenny, trade editors Sybil Hutchinson, Claire Pratt, and Anna Porter, and literary agent Bella Pomer made ... read more

A Lot of People Are Saying: The New Conspiracism and the Assault on Democracy

Nancy L. Rosenblum, Russell Muirhead

How the new conspiracists are undermining democracyâ€"and what can be done about itConspiracy theories are as old as politics. But conspiracists today have introduced something newâ€"conspiracy without theory. And the new conspiracism has moved from the fringes to the heart of government with the election of Donald Trump. In A Lot of People Are Saying, Russell Muirhead and Nancy Rosenblum show... read more

How the new conspiracists are undermining democracyâ€"and what can be done about itConspiracy theories are as old as politics. But conspiracists today have introduced something newâ€"conspiracy without theory. And the new conspiracism has moved from the fringes to the heart of government with the election of Donald Trump. In A Lot of People Are Saying, Russell Muirhead and Nancy Rosenblum show... read more

A Feast for the Eyes: Edible Art from Apple to Zucchini

Carolyn Tillie

Savor a taste of the edible alphabet, from A to Z. Throughout history, visual and performance artists of all stripes and degrees of renown have rendered their visions within the whimsical medium of food. But however ubiquitous the practice may be, in Carolyn Tillie’s deeply satisfying and gloriously illustrated A Feast for the Eyes, we embark on a delicious adventure that redefines the world o... read more

Savor a taste of the edible alphabet, from A to Z. Throughout history, visual and performance artists of all stripes and degrees of renown have rendered their visions within the whimsical medium of food. But however ubiquitous the practice may be, in Carolyn Tillie’s deeply satisfying and gloriously illustrated A Feast for the Eyes, we embark on a delicious adventure that redefines the world o... read more

Stumbling Giants: Transforming Canada's Banks for the Information Age (Rotman-UTP Publishing)

Patricia Meredith, James L. Darroch

Canada’s big six banks weathered the 2008 financial crisis very well. Their adherence to tried and tested twentieth-century products and services made them a safe harbour in the financial storm. However, as the modern global information economy continues to develop, the banks must confront their innovation crisis, or they will fail.In Stumbling Giants, Patricia Meredith and James L. Darroch em... read more

Canada’s big six banks weathered the 2008 financial crisis very well. Their adherence to tried and tested twentieth-century products and services made them a safe harbour in the financial storm. However, as the modern global information economy continues to develop, the banks must confront their innovation crisis, or they will fail.In Stumbling Giants, Patricia Meredith and James L. Darroch em... read more

The Philosophy of Coffee

Brian Williams

This is a short, entertaining, and illuminating introduction to the history and culture of coffee, from the humble origins of the bean in northeast Africa over a millennium to ago, to what it is today, a global phenomenon that is enjoyed around the world. It is the perfect gift for coffee lovers, and includes chapters on the rise of the coffeehouse, legal bans on coffee, Brazil's domination of... read more

This is a short, entertaining, and illuminating introduction to the history and culture of coffee, from the humble origins of the bean in northeast Africa over a millennium to ago, to what it is today, a global phenomenon that is enjoyed around the world. It is the perfect gift for coffee lovers, and includes chapters on the rise of the coffeehouse, legal bans on coffee, Brazil's domination of... read more

Power and Progress on the Prairie: Governing People on Rosebud Reservation

Thomas Biolsi

A critical exploration of how modernity and progress were imposed on the people and land of rural South Dakota The Rosebud Country, comprising four counties in rural South Dakota, was first established as the Rosebud Indian Reservation in 1889 to settle the Sicangu Lakota. During the first two decades of the twentieth century, white homesteaders arrived in the area and became the majority popu... read more

A critical exploration of how modernity and progress were imposed on the people and land of rural South Dakota The Rosebud Country, comprising four counties in rural South Dakota, was first established as the Rosebud Indian Reservation in 1889 to settle the Sicangu Lakota. During the first two decades of the twentieth century, white homesteaders arrived in the area and became the majority popu... read more

Bloomsbury: Beyond the Establishment (London)

Matthew Ingleby

Bloomsbury lies at the heart of cultural and intellectual London, famed for its museums, universities and literary heritage. Matthew Ingleby's new history ranges across the neighborhood to explore hidden corners and reveal unexpected connections between Bloomsbury's past and present, its buildings and its people, its austere towers and its garden squares. Ingleby examines the facets of Bloomsb... read more

Bloomsbury lies at the heart of cultural and intellectual London, famed for its museums, universities and literary heritage. Matthew Ingleby's new history ranges across the neighborhood to explore hidden corners and reveal unexpected connections between Bloomsbury's past and present, its buildings and its people, its austere towers and its garden squares. Ingleby examines the facets of Bloomsb... read more

Soho: The Heart of Bohemian London

Peter Speiser

From humble beginnings, Soho developed into a fashionable center for London’s nobility in the 18th century. Yet this same area was to become a poverty-stricken and decaying Victorian hub of cheap lodging houses. This was the Soho of the devastating cholera outbreak of 1854. However, a new focus on business and manufacturing transformed Soho in the late 19th and 20th centuries. Alongside this, ... read more

From humble beginnings, Soho developed into a fashionable center for London’s nobility in the 18th century. Yet this same area was to become a poverty-stricken and decaying Victorian hub of cheap lodging houses. This was the Soho of the devastating cholera outbreak of 1854. However, a new focus on business and manufacturing transformed Soho in the late 19th and 20th centuries. Alongside this, ... read more

Camden Town: Dreams of Another London

Tom Bolton

This book takes five landmarks as the starting point for a series of journeys into the layers of history and culture of Camden Town. The World’s End pub existed in various forms since before Camden began. Today's crowds flock to the locks and market at Regent’s Canal Bridge, while Arlington House, a block away, belongs to a parallel Camden of immigration and new beginnings, poverty and homeles... read more

This book takes five landmarks as the starting point for a series of journeys into the layers of history and culture of Camden Town. The World’s End pub existed in various forms since before Camden began. Today's crowds flock to the locks and market at Regent’s Canal Bridge, while Arlington House, a block away, belongs to a parallel Camden of immigration and new beginnings, poverty and homeles... read more

Behind the Scenes at the Ballets Russes: Stories from a Silver Age

Michael Meylac

"For most of my life I lived behind a curtain – not the magic one of theatre, but Stalin’s Iron Curtain between the East and the West. However, it was full of holes." So writes Michael Meylac, whose love of ballet began in his youth in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), when as a boy, his parents would take him to the famed Mariinsky and Maly Theatres in their neighborhood to see the popular post... read more

"For most of my life I lived behind a curtain – not the magic one of theatre, but Stalin’s Iron Curtain between the East and the West. However, it was full of holes." So writes Michael Meylac, whose love of ballet began in his youth in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), when as a boy, his parents would take him to the famed Mariinsky and Maly Theatres in their neighborhood to see the popular post... read more

Infinite Variety: The Life and Legend of the Marchesa Casati The Ultimate Edition

Scot D. Ryersson, Michael Orlando Yaccarino

For the first three decades of the twentieth century, the Marchesa Luisa Casati astounded Europe. She was infamous for her evening strolls—naked beneath her furs, parading cheetahs on diamond-studded leashes. Artists such as Man Ray and Augustus John painted, sculpted, and photographed her; writers, including Jean Cocteau, Ezra Pound, and Jack Kerouac, praised her strange beauty; celebrities a... read more

For the first three decades of the twentieth century, the Marchesa Luisa Casati astounded Europe. She was infamous for her evening strolls—naked beneath her furs, parading cheetahs on diamond-studded leashes. Artists such as Man Ray and Augustus John painted, sculpted, and photographed her; writers, including Jean Cocteau, Ezra Pound, and Jack Kerouac, praised her strange beauty; celebrities a... read more

Subprime Health: Debt and Race in U.S. Medicine

From race-based pharmaceutical prescriptions and marketing, to race-targeted medical “hot spotting” and the Affordable Care Act, to stem-cell trial recruitment discourse, Subprime Health is a timely examination of race-based medicine as it intersects with the concept of debt. The contributors to this volume propose that race-based medicine is inextricable from debt in two key senses. They firs... read more

From race-based pharmaceutical prescriptions and marketing, to race-targeted medical “hot spotting” and the Affordable Care Act, to stem-cell trial recruitment discourse, Subprime Health is a timely examination of race-based medicine as it intersects with the concept of debt. The contributors to this volume propose that race-based medicine is inextricable from debt in two key senses. They firs... read more

Sexography: Sex Work in Documentary

Nicholas de Villiers

The turn of the twenty-first century has witnessed an eruption of nonfiction films on sex work. The first book to examine a cross-section of this diverse and transnational body of work, Sexography confronts the ethical questions raised by ethnographic documentary and interviews with sexually marginalized subjects. Nicholas de Villiers argues that carnal and cultural knowledge are inextricably ... read more

The turn of the twenty-first century has witnessed an eruption of nonfiction films on sex work. The first book to examine a cross-section of this diverse and transnational body of work, Sexography confronts the ethical questions raised by ethnographic documentary and interviews with sexually marginalized subjects. Nicholas de Villiers argues that carnal and cultural knowledge are inextricably ... read more

Tea: A User's Guide

Tony Gebely

Tea: A User’s Guide is the most up-to-date and factual guide to specialty tea. This volume presents an extensively peer-reviewed framework for navigating the world of tea whether you are just embarking on your tea journey or whether you have been drinking tea your entire life.In this book, you’ll discover:How tea is grown and processed.How so many tea products are derived from a single species... read more

Tea: A User’s Guide is the most up-to-date and factual guide to specialty tea. This volume presents an extensively peer-reviewed framework for navigating the world of tea whether you are just embarking on your tea journey or whether you have been drinking tea your entire life.In this book, you’ll discover:How tea is grown and processed.How so many tea products are derived from a single species... read more

Blood Sugar: Racial Pharmacology and Food Justice in Black America

Anthony Ryan Hatch

Why do African Americans have exceptionally high rates of hypertension, diabetes, and obesity? Is it their genes? Their disease-prone culture? Their poor diets? Such racist explanations for racial inequalities in metabolic health have circulated in medical journals for decades. Blood Sugar analyzes and challenges the ways in which “metabolic syndrome” has become a major biomedical category tha... read more

Why do African Americans have exceptionally high rates of hypertension, diabetes, and obesity? Is it their genes? Their disease-prone culture? Their poor diets? Such racist explanations for racial inequalities in metabolic health have circulated in medical journals for decades. Blood Sugar analyzes and challenges the ways in which “metabolic syndrome” has become a major biomedical category tha... read more

Predator Empire: Drone Warfare and Full Spectrum Dominance

Ian G. R. Shaw

What does it mean for human beings to exist in an era of dronified state violence? How can we understand the rise of robotic systems of power and domination? Focusing on U.S. drone warfare and its broader implications as no other book has to date, Predator Empire argues that we are witnessing a transition from a labor-intensive “American empire” to a machine-intensive “Predator Empire.” Moving... read more

What does it mean for human beings to exist in an era of dronified state violence? How can we understand the rise of robotic systems of power and domination? Focusing on U.S. drone warfare and its broader implications as no other book has to date, Predator Empire argues that we are witnessing a transition from a labor-intensive “American empire” to a machine-intensive “Predator Empire.” Moving... read more

Unified Fields: Science and Literary Form

Janine Rogers

Literary form presents an important opportunity for understanding the relationship between literature and science. Through a series of close readings of poetry and prose, Unified Fields demonstrates that formal structures in literature can relate to scientific concepts through their essential interpretive functions.Janine Rogers engages with a wide range of writing from Canadian, British, and ... read more

Literary form presents an important opportunity for understanding the relationship between literature and science. Through a series of close readings of poetry and prose, Unified Fields demonstrates that formal structures in literature can relate to scientific concepts through their essential interpretive functions.Janine Rogers engages with a wide range of writing from Canadian, British, and ... read more

Wait Time: A Memoir of Cancer (Life Writing)

Kenneth Sherman

When poet and essayist Kenneth Sherman was diagnosed with cancer, he began keeping a notebook of observations that blossomed into this powerful memoir. With incisive and evocative language, Sherman presents a clear-eyed view of what the cancer patient feels and thinks. His narrative voice is personal but not confessional, practical but not cold, thoughtful and searching but not self-pitying or... read more

When poet and essayist Kenneth Sherman was diagnosed with cancer, he began keeping a notebook of observations that blossomed into this powerful memoir. With incisive and evocative language, Sherman presents a clear-eyed view of what the cancer patient feels and thinks. His narrative voice is personal but not confessional, practical but not cold, thoughtful and searching but not self-pitying or... read more

Marriage and Fatherhood in the Nazi SS (German and European Studies)

Amy Carney

From 1931 to 1945, leaders of the SS, a paramilitary group under the Nazi party, sought to transform their organization into a racially-elite family community that would serve as the Third Reich’s new aristocracy. They utilized the science of eugenics to convince SS men to marry suitable wives and have many children. Marriage and Fatherhood in the Nazi SS, by Amy Carney, is the first work to s... read more

From 1931 to 1945, leaders of the SS, a paramilitary group under the Nazi party, sought to transform their organization into a racially-elite family community that would serve as the Third Reich’s new aristocracy. They utilized the science of eugenics to convince SS men to marry suitable wives and have many children. Marriage and Fatherhood in the Nazi SS, by Amy Carney, is the first work to s... read more

Paramedics On and Off the Streets: Emergency Medical Services in the Age of Technological Governance

Michael K. Corman

In Paramedics On and Off the Streets, Michael K. Corman embarks on an institutional ethnography of the complex, mundane, intricate, and exhilarating work of paramedics in Calgary, Alberta. Corman’s comprehensive research includes more than 200 hours of participant observation ride-alongs with paramedics over a period of eleven months, more than one hundred first hand interviews with paramedics... read more

In Paramedics On and Off the Streets, Michael K. Corman embarks on an institutional ethnography of the complex, mundane, intricate, and exhilarating work of paramedics in Calgary, Alberta. Corman’s comprehensive research includes more than 200 hours of participant observation ride-alongs with paramedics over a period of eleven months, more than one hundred first hand interviews with paramedics... read more

A Brief History of Women in Quebec (Studies in Childhood and Family in Canada)

Denyse Baillargeon

A Brief History of Women in Quebec examines the historical experience of women of different social classes and origins (geographic, ethnic, and racial) from the period of contact between Europeans and Aboriginals to the twenty-first century to give a nuanced and complex account of the main transformations in their lives. Themes explored include demography, such as marriage, fecundity, and immi... read more

A Brief History of Women in Quebec examines the historical experience of women of different social classes and origins (geographic, ethnic, and racial) from the period of contact between Europeans and Aboriginals to the twenty-first century to give a nuanced and complex account of the main transformations in their lives. Themes explored include demography, such as marriage, fecundity, and immi... read more

Sandra has 3 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Joe Ogden
I have really enjoyed working with Sandra. She was extremely enthusiastic from the start, had some amazing ideas for the cover and the interior design and the finished product looks fantastic. I couldn't be happier. I'd highly recommend working with Sandra if you're aiming high for your book.

Joe Ogden, August 2019


Tony Gebely
It was a pleasure to work with Sandra, she understood exactly the feel I was looking for with my cover design and interior layout. Sandra produced one of the most striking cover designs for any book on tea and the interior work she did is phenomenal as well -- very clean and just the right amount of whitespace. She also handled all of my foreign language text beautifully. Most importantly, she...
Read more

Tony Gebely, March 2019


Rob Davies
It was a pleasure working with Sandra - she went above and beyond our original discussions (e.g. undertaking picture research) and familiarised herself with the text of each book in some detail to ensure an eye-catching, commercial, and thoroughly market-appropriate design.

Rob Davies, March 2017

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Tom Howey

Award-winning designer of some major international titles. Non-fiction specialist. Loves getting to grips with new and tricky subject areas.

Berlin, Germany

Jack Smyth

I'm a book cover designer with experience in all genres, always looking for the next brilliant book to work on.

London, UK

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