I began doing book design in 1983 when a sixth-form friend Donald Measham, the Head of English at Matlock College started ‘Staple New Writing’, a subscription literary magazine. Inspired by Birmingham poet Roy Fisher to collect a few works ‘around a staple’, Staple ran for fifty issues over twenty years and I undertook the cover design and layout for all of them. Printing was by Tony Ward of Arc and Throstle Press, a highly respected publisher of poetry. The final edition cover, number 50, was of my designs for all of the covers. Staple became internationally known and in addition developed the series of monographs and collections ‘Staple First Editions’.
Having worked alongside poets and writers I wrote work myself and encouraged others who had never contemplated publishing to bring their work into print. Using on-line publisher Lulu.com I continue to to design and produce books for others.
After Staple was handed on to others, Donald Measham was able to pursue his expertise in Jane Austen and Ruskin and I designed covers for his publications.