The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

The Innovator’s Cookbook


I had seen the book trailer for The Innovator’s Cookbook by Steven Johnson posted elsewhere and hadn’t paid too much attention to it (elsewhere being wildly more popular than here!) until designer Helen Yentus dropped me a line to say that it showed her process for making the cover’s title letters using a MakerBot 3D printer:

“We really wanted to produce the cover in some way that would fit into the content. The MakerBot guys were nice enough to print the letters for us and they’re a really innovative company. They make the only affordable 3D desktop printer and they run a site where people upload their designs. It’s all pretty cool.”

In the video you can see Helen sketch out and design the letters before they are printed and set up for the cover shoot. It really is pretty cool:

The video and cover shoot were done by YDESIGN.

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  1. that’s fun. I didn’t catch how they made that apostrophe stay in place, but leaving all the leftover plastic is a nice touch. I need to get a makerbot now… looks like there is more potential to do something interesting with it for book covers. You can always count on Yentus to do something like this—totally different. It’s not so much that 3D letterforms have not been done on covers, it’s the process.

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