Susan Hood

Susan Hood - Designer

Pawling, NY, USA

As a book designer for over 30 years, I've worked for many top NY publishers, as well as for self- and privately-published authors

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It's always been interesting and creatively fulfilling to design books for major publishers. Now, though, with recent technology allowing for printing books in very small quantities, I've been able to work on a variety of personal histories and memoirs, as well as on self-published books. It's a privilege to design for individuals and I apply the same design standards for their work as I do for major publishers.

My experience designing book interiors is extensive, having worked—primarily on a freelance basis—for Random House (Bantam, Dell, Broadway, Crown, Pantheon, Knopf, and Times Books), Penguin Putnam, Simon & Schuster, Henry Holt, St. Martin's Press, Andrews McMeel, William Morrow, W.W. Norton, and other publishers.

• Design of book interiors and jackets/covers
• Composition of pages; preparation of subsequent passes through to final pdf file
• Design and preparation of photo sections
• Photo evaluation, editing, scanning, color correction, minor retouching, and cleaning
• Design and preparation of charts and family trees

My reputation is for being conscientious, detail-oriented, and able to meet tight deadlines without sacrificing quality. Less easy to quantify is the sensitivity I bring to each project. Over the years I've cultivated the ability to zero in on the essence of a manuscript and communicate it effectively through careful type selection and nuanced design. I make an effort to design each book in an inspired and original way. For me it's critical to match the tone of the manuscript, reflecting the author's perspective rather than imposing my own.

To quote one happy client, "Susan is a gem! She is highly professional, well organized, diligent and thorough. When necessary, she asks important questions to ensure that the job gets done with great care and expertise. She is lovely to work with and has always been at the top of my list."
Biographies & Memoirs
Cooking, Food, Wine, & Spirits
Health & Wellbeing
Humanities & Social Sciences
Political Science & Current Affairs
Religion & Spirituality
Self-Help & Self-Improvement
Plays & Screenplays
Women's Fiction


  • BFA in Advertising Design from the School of Visual Arts, NYC

Work experience

Book designer

Henry Holt & Company
June, 1984 – July, 1988 (about 4 years)

Designed and executed through all stages of production trade books for adult, young adult and juvenile lists. Designed and dummied standard- to heavily-illustrated books; designed photo sections and bindings. Supervised freelance designers and studio artists. Commissioned illustrations and maps. Designed jackets for young adult and juvenile titles. Analyzed and scaled art; checked 4-color proofs of interior art and jackets. Established and maintained budgets and schedules. Assumed full responsibilities of department head in Design Director’s absence.

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