Today, we have a designer, Theodore Ashford of Ashwords Design! Theodore is a visual artist whose work helps authors promote their books in a number of ways. He’s an award-winning author himself, so he knows what an author needs.
Theodore Ashford is a writer and designer who is obsessed with the art of words. That love has led him into a path of typography and design, where he has a blast doing cover design and book photo shoots for other authors. The nice thing about book photoshoots is that books don’t get uncomfortable posing for a camera for long hours and don’t need a buffet. Theo has also worked as an editor for the literary magazine Alchemy and has stared at computers contemplating font spacing for longer than even a robot could stand.
Aside from writing and design, you’ll usually find Theo playing with his cats, drinking tea, or (if he’s feeling ambitious) failing at something he saw that one time on Pinterest. He lives with his spouse in Portland, Oregon.
D.R.- Coffee or tea?
T.A.- Okay, this is maybe a little bit sacrilege considering I live in the pacific northwest, but I’m going to have to say tea. Almost everyone here is into coffee, (and I grant that it’s some of the best coffee around) but my spouse is really into tea. I learned about all the health benefits of tea, so I really can’t argue with it now.
D.R.- Dogs or cats?
T.A.- I grew up a dog person, but then I fell in love with my little black kitty. Now I’m a cat person. The fact that I don’t have to wake up at two in the morning to take them on a walk is a huge benefit for me.
D.R.- Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
T.A.- When I was a teenager, I was pretty much obsessed with this anime/manga called Fullmetal Alchemist. It was because of FMA that I’ve grown into the kind and compassionate person I am today, mostly because I’m always striving to be more like my favorite characters.
D.R.- What’s your Patronus?
T.A.- I would probably be one of those people who has a Patronus influenced by the person I love. Probably a tiger, since that’s usually the way I think of my spouse. They’re my big protective floof.
D.R.- Why do you love winter?
T.A.- I love the prettiness of winter. Christmas is one of my favorite times of year with magical lights in the trees and quiet snowfalls. I love winter despite the cold. It’s a magical time of year.
D.R.- Where’d you get the idea for your business/goods/services?
T.A.- It mostly just started out with a love for books and words. I had a librarian for a grandmother, so I was raised around shelves and shelves of books everywhere. I grew up loving not just the way the words on the pages looked, but also the covers. As I got older, I kept experimenting with making my own covers, and eventually took classes at school on design and photography. I didn’t really think much about the skill I had cultivated until someone offered to pay me to make promotional materials for their books, and said they would promote me to all their friends if I gave them a link.
D.R.- What genres do you feel comfortable supporting?
T.A.- I’m most comfortable with Young Adult books, especially ones with a magical twist. I’m also a fan of anything with heavy typography since that’s a big interest of mine. I honestly just enjoy challenging myself as often as I can manage.
D.R.- What do you have to offer authors?
T.A.- I do custom and pre-made covers for books, as well as design for marketing materials, logo design, and book photography—that is, taking promotional pictures of books.
D.R.- Do you have any goods/services that might benefit readers or other artists?
T.A.- Yes! I’m also working on co-authoring a coloring book with my spouse that we’re hoping to have out later this year.