Nancy Reynolds of Journey Notes, the personal historian for Joy of Serving: “I celebrate all the new things I learned during this project, especially through working with you. Your patience, your careful instructions, your gentle suggestions were all appreciated.”
"I am deeply grateful to all of you for your words. I thank all those who have come before and all those yet to come for the great privilege of working together." — Robin Brooks, The Beauty of Books, designing the books of our lives
Testimonials for Robin Brooks, The Beauty of Books
Cliff Hakim who wrote Walk in My Shoes: The Path to Empathy and Compassion: Dear Robin, You have been my partner in light. You worked with me from the get go with a keen and steadfast vision, a creative and exploratory eye, and a grace that gave birth to a book that made my spirit soar and my heart sing. Readers have voted “beautiful,” “gorgeous typography and printing are abundant throughout,” “exquisite,” and “a heartfelt masterpiece.” I could always depend on you:
To give your honest feedback
To percolate fresh and prolific ideas
To research everything and everyone thoroughly
To share your invaluable list of contacts and resources
To guide me patiently and to learn side-by-side
To twist things creatively to give them a voice and a presence
It was vital for this author to find you, a partner who could illuminate my message: KINDNESS MATTERS and COMPASSION IS A SUPERPOWER. Your unmatched attention to detail and ability to absorb and feel my message, not only produced a distinctive and cohesive book but also website and collateral material to contribute to a healthier and happier culture and planet. My deepest thank you for your competent and soulful partnership. You have Walked in My Shoes.
Valerie Andrews, editor for Walk in My Shoes (above) says: Robin Brooks is the finest collaborator you can hope for in book design. Her elegant rendering of Walk in My Shoes — her page design and treatment of the art work and recurring elements — were nothing short of genius. If all books were made like this, we'd spend our lives in bed reading, and regard the book as a work of art. If you're self-publishing and want your product to look like someone has spent tremendous time, care and effort in its appearance, this is the place to start. Highly recommended! Robin was a joy to work with throughout the whole process. She provides top-notch proofers, several layers of review, and fast review process — along with a keen sensitivity to the spirit of the book. Quite simply, she's one of the best in the business. If you have a soulful project, call her right away.
Francie King of History Keep is a fabulous editor and writer that Robin works with on so many of the books she designs. She says about Robin's work: Robin Brooks is a superb designer. That sums it up. Robin is as skilled and sensitive and detail-oriented as they come – you don’t want anyone else working on your book. We’ve done many projects together over the years, with one of the earliest a hugely challenging three-volume, slip-cased set about a Boston attorney. Robin did heroic work on that one and it was my first immersion into how she handled a big, demanding, multifaceted project (and if you can do the big ones, you are going to be fabulous on the smaller ones, and she is). Robin's work style and habits are unparalleled. She takes on design as a personal mission with every book she does. As an editor, I am privileged to be working with her; she meets deadlines, gets others to meet deadlines, respects the editorial process, and produces the wonderful covers and inside layouts that knock the socks off clients. I look forward to many more projects with this talented professional.
Michael Klingler, who wrote the memoir It IS All About Me, says: I can’t thank Robin enough for her professionalism and design skills. She guided me through the design process, always attentive to my ideas and questions, and provided valuable feedback and alternative suggestions. Robin also worked well with my editor; it became a team effort to produce a quality book. Robin’s eye for color and design is remarkable. My autobiography contains 300 photos which she skillfully touched up, sized and placed in the manuscript for maximum effect. She designed a front cover which captured the main theme of my book and my life. I absolutely trust her design skills. Robin is meticulous down to the smallest detail, an essential quality in a book designer. She included me in every aspect of the design process which I appreciated. When the printer we initially chose was unable to deliver a proof to our satisfaction, Robin spent hours screening other printers around the country and did not charge me for her additional work. Such is her dedication to quality and her client’s satisfaction.
John David Ferrer, author of BARCELONA-BORINQUEN, says: I chose Ms. Brooks after interviewing four artists to design a book cover for my new novel. Even before I hired her, she was asking the right questions about the theme of the book and the meaning of the title chosen. She gave me options and meticulously discussed every detail. Her flair for choosing colors was unique, and she guided me away from the wrong choices regarding the presentation of the photographs. I'm very happy I selected her, even though it cost more than I expected, but her estimate was not far off. Highly recommended.
Nancy Haines, who wrote We Answered with Love: Pacifist Service in World War I, says: I am so grateful to Robin Brooks, an excellent book designer, who brought my book to life. She not only designed a beautiful book, she also offered support and encouragement throughout the scary process of letting go of the project [15 years in the making]. And: I have really enjoyed working with you. You made my book a reality. You made it happen! It's going to be hard to let you go — you've been a lifeline in this process. (In the judging of the 2016 Ben Franklin Awards for Indie publishers, Robin received a tie for first for design for We Answered with Love.) Lucy Myers, personal historian for Winning Silver: A Memoir: Robin designed a book of memoirs for which I was the personal historian. She also managed our project, which was quite complicated, with another editor and many photos. Robin inspired confidence and excitement as we worked along. She kept us on schedule, letting us know well in advance where we needed to be. Her instructions (about photographs, for example) were clear and detailed, and we always knew that our work was in good hands. Robin's creative abilities match and even surpass her organizational talent. The cover she designed was stunning, and the lay-out of the book complemented perfectly the spirit of the memoir. Working with Robin was a privilege and a pleasure. When the book arrived in many boxes — printed and beautiful — I felt an enormous loss because I would no longer be communicating with Robin every day (or sometimes every hour!).
Donald Francis Whiston, client, Winning Silver: a Memoir: In his Acknowledgments: I am indebted to Robin Brooks, my book designer, for the imaginative and beautiful layout of the book, as well as her careful management of our production schedule and the innumerable details of assembling a book like this one. In a phone message after receiving his books: I’m that guy in Ipswich that just wanted you to know you did such a fabulous job. I was thrilled to see it... It was absolutely beautiful! I’ve had some great responses from it. You did a terrific job!
Mary Littlefield, personal historian for Joseph E. Corcoran’s Wasn’t That a Time? A Corcoran Family Memoir: 1925-1950: I have worked closely with many book designers over the years, but it was not until I found Robin that I felt a true sense of trust. First of all, I know I can trust Robin’s design skills absolutely. She is an extraordinary designer. But I also know I can trust Robin to be my partner throughout the process. She respects and encourages my ideas, accommodates my client’s needs — all while calmly insisting on the best quality throughout. I finally have found a designer with whom I can create the wonderful books I could only dream of previously. It means the world to me and to my clients.
Leslie Brooks, author of Love Incarnate: “I have come to tell a story of love”: The moment came when I began to feel my book was ready to publish. Even though I looked into it, I couldn’t stand the idea of going with a canned self-publishing company. I KNEW there was only one person whom I could completely trust to design my book exactly how I saw it in my mind's eye. That person just happened to be my twin sister Robin. I am a newly published author and very ignorant about the process. Robin was very patient, professional, and helpful in working with me. She was also so kind and responsive. I loved her first design. It was perfect! My book is so beautiful. When I open it, the design is so silently beautiful and nonintrusive, the message is revealed. I can’t thank her enough.
Robin’s ability to work with you in designing and publishing your own book did not come overnight. Robin has spent over 40 years as a graphic designer, designing — yes — books (some for Viking Penguin and for the Waldorf Schools of North America) and, also, everything from corporate identities to magazines, film frontispieces, to town flags. For over ten years, she has focused primarily on books. Robin’s trademark is her clear and simple design style. To see some of her earlier design work, please visit her Song of Spring Designs portfolio.