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Pit Road Pets | Book Design and Production



Pit Road PetsTM: NASCAR Stars and Their Pets was a labor of love. The book was self-published by the Ryan Newman Foundation, which provides philanthropic efforts to enrich the lives of people and animals throughout the nation. It’s being sold, to NASCAR fans and animal lovers, to raise money for the Humane Society of Catawba County (HSCC). HSCC, in Hickory, North Carolina, is in the midst of a capital campaign to build a no-kill animal shelter and low-cost public spay/neuter clinic that will serve eight counties in North Carolina—the heart of NASCAR country.

I provided design, layout, print production and coordination. Design-wise, typography had to be clean and legible. We wanted to be sure to keep some clear space for collectors to gather autographs of their favorite personalities. A structured grid was the obvious choice to keep all the various elements under visual control. Spreads were laid out in such a way so that photos and copy could be dropped in as they became available. Ultimately the book is legible and stylish, and still has an element of fun to it. (How could it not with all those great pet pictures?!)

Concepting was the easy part. We had 176 pages of photos and copy to lay out! Deadlines were tight. We began layout in October, 2005, with the goal to bring the book to market by February, 2006. All the photography was shot in traditional, non-digital formats—photographer Karen Will Rogers culled through thousands of great photos to choose just the right ones to scan, and then she and I consulted on the final choices. Meanwhile, Amy McCauley and the Barking Dog Communications team worked with writer Laura Lacy to edit and finalize the text. Everything was laid out, proofread and approved during the month of November, and files went to the printer December 1. We began the new year flying to Ohio for the press run.

Working with the team was a great experience—everyone had a wealth of knowledge and experience to bring to the table. Everyone has a love of pets (as well as pets of their own) and great appreciation for the goals and efforts of the Foundation. I want to thank them for choosing me and allowing me to work with them on this noble project. The team consisted of:

Photographer Karen Will Rogers
Writer Laura Lacy
Krissie Newman
Barking Dog Communications Principal Amy McCauley and Staffer Beth Hardy
Ryan Newman Foundation Executive Director Rosalie De Fini
Pixel Princess and Photoshopper Extraordinaire Nicole Schoepflin

To purchase the book, visit, or

For more information about the Ryan Newman Foundation, visit

For more information about the Humane Society of Catawba County, NC, visit





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