Third up in this month’s Design Studio series is San Francisco’s very own Chronicle Books, which boasts an abundance of bestselling titles over a broad range of topics, including art and design, food, fiction, travel, and children’s books, in addition to some fabulously playful stationary and journals. Designer Suzanne LaGasa was our gracious hostess, taking us through all 4 floors of publishing magic. Come take a look with us …
Chronicle corporate headquarters is located in the SOMA district, just down the street from our last Design Studio, Sony Ericsson. The ground floor serves as a gallery and bookstore which is open to the public during weekdays — go check it out, it’s amazing! I had a few minutes to kill and got totally lost in the books.
Before heading upstairs Suzanne showed us the lounge area and secret Chronicle employee bike storage (a.k.a. the bathroom hallway) where she kindly posed with her sweet ride.
Chronicle is unlike an other office I have ever seen. Every available surface is occupied by something incredible to look at. People’s cubicles are literally spilling over with inspirational goodies — books, postcards, stickers, posters, doodads, and all manner of printed paraphernalia.
Playfulness is everywhere. The white boards are full of animal sketches and the meeting rooms are covered in the latest design ideas. Suzanne’s desk contains a few hilarious mock-ups from a past project on Farts. Other prized possessions include a bobble-head Boston Terrier, her unicorn mask, and a petrified cupcake salvaged from a coworker’s birthday several years back.
Our last stop was the production room. If I were allowed, I would be stealing in here after hours to use the workshop. Heavy duty paper cutters, binding tools, circle cutters, corner rounders – everything one might need to put together a book. I was very impressed that Chronicle does title mock-ups by hand. Just goes to show that all those years with a metal straight edge and X-acto weren’t for naught!
Apart from being a stellar designer, Suzanne authors the Chronicle blog, From the Design Desk. Check out her latest!