Educate a Woman, Uplift a Nation

Educate a Woman, Uplift a Nation: Stories from the Akilah Institute. Photo book design & layout, for the Akilah Institute for Women. 2016.

Design and layout of a ~200-page, hard cover photo book, intended to be a fundraising item for the non-profit and a high-quality coffee table book for their donors and supporters. The Akilah Institute for Women is a college in east Africa that helps women learn skills that will help them with employment and engage in the community. Akilah had two photographers travel with them to Rwanda to capture portraits of staff, students, and partners. These photographs are paired with text interviews of the people pictured. It’s a powerful narrative of women’s empowerment.

The emphasis is definitely on the photographs, but we wanted the stories to be easily read and have a refined look as well. Akilah provided all photos and text content, but the layout and design was built from scratch by me. They had an established identity that I needed to work within. The bold look for the cover and headline typography was chosen to match their recent website redesign. The body copy font was chosen to be complementary to the headline style and the photos while not distracting from them.

Amanda was truly a pleasure to work with. The 200-page photography book she designed was a huge hit at our international fundraiser in Hong Kong and drew in tens of thousands of dollars. She somehow managed to sync different opinions into a cohesive vision and accommodated our last-minute changes. She also pushed back with knowledgeable feedback when she felt that our ideas would not accomplish the overall purpose of the book. I was really impressed by her meticulous attention to detail, even for things that might not typically fall within design work. I’ll definitely seek Amanda’s design expertise in the future.
Lauren Everitt
Editor in Chief at Akilah Net

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Amanda Guerassio

From freelance designer to studio owner, I've been a self-employed, independent graphic designer for over a decade. I love helping people find the right visual voice for their businesses and projects. Let's talk!