The Department of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is one of the top surgery departments in the country. From the first successful lung removal in 1933 to a recent nerve transfer that restored hand function to a quadriplegic patient, it has maintained its stature as a leader in surgical innovation. To celebrate their 100th anniversary, a retrospective book was commissioned.
The department was impressed by the success of the book that Enrich had designed for the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology. They felt that a similar effort would highlight their own organization’s storied history and immense capabilities. Department of Surgery Executive Director, Jamie Sauerburger, and Communications Coordinator Greg Barnett reunited the team and guided the process.
When designing historical books, one of the largest challenges is working with a large quantity of black and white images. The addition of color was needed to help the content feel fresh and inviting to the reader. The design needed to reflect the department’s history, while still communicating a modern vibe and a sense of innovation. It needed to accommodate many different types of content as well, including a main narrative, sidebars and interleaves. The aggressive timeline posed another challenge — book completion would need to coincide with the department's anniversary gala.
We began by choosing a unique, horizontal orientation for the book, which sets it apart from standard books on the shelf. We developed a system of styles for each type of content in the book, creating an easy-to-follow main narrative, supported by eye-catching vignettes, tributes and quotes. Full-bleed spreads introduce each chapter, providing dramatic breaks in the main text while bright blues, greens and oranges infuse a modern feel throughout the book. Vertical green bands provide pops of color next to the black and white photography, allowing the sidebar vignettes to be highlighted to the reader.
- The book was completed on time and presented to the department at the anniversary gala.
- Timothy J. Eberlein, MD, Chair, Department of Surgery, stated, “We couldn’t be happier with the end product or Enrich’s creative approach to the project. The book is very attractive, and we feel it reflects the quality and prestige of our institution.”