November 02, 2016

Mauve Pagé Brings Industry Expertise to Publishing Program


By Juvina Silvestre

Mauve Pagé, a founder of Page & Design, is sharing her industry expertise with students in the SFU Publishing Program. She started teaching this semester as Publication Design Lecturer, bringing her successes as a book designer for many Canadian publications, university presses, journals, and magazines (including Penguin CanadaHarbour PublishingWhitecap BooksUBC PressOxford University Press Canada, L’Actualité, and Geist) to the classroom.

Read on to learn how she discovered her career path in Publication Design at the most unexpected place – Paris.

The 'Ah-Ha' Moment

Originally from Montreal & Ottawa, Mauve holds undergraduate degrees in Women Studies and Communication Design, and a Masters degree in Publishing; a background well suited to the interdisciplinary nature of the Publishing Program. 

Mauve found her passion for design while completing her first degree at Queen's University.  During her third year, she worked as an intern in Paris as an Office Clerk. There, she was asked to step out of her required duties and design a poster for the company’s football tournament.  Not having experience in graphic design, Mauve struggled, but fell in love with the process of combining written and visual elements to enhance communication.

“It was really interesting to think in terms of visual communication, and also find ways to intrigue people.  It was more than just "art for arts-sake".  It was not just being creative, but it was being creative with the purpose of communication, of engaging people, of thinking about who they are, and how to reach them.”

A perfect combination of intellectual communication and creative art

Based on her personal experience, she believes it is important to explore other programs in university even if you have already chosen a certain path.

Determined to pursue her new passion, she completed a Bachelor in Communication Design from Nova Scotia College of Art & Design (NSCAD) and a Master of Publishing from Simon Fraser University (SFU). 

Learning about typography and other design aspects led Mauve to a career as a book designer

Some of her favorite childhood memories included playing librarian and going to the library.  While she was learning of the creative process behind book publishing, she realized that becoming a book designer was a natural progression from her early years.  

After graduating from NSCAD, Mauve worked as an in-house designer and as a freelancer for large commercial presses, small local presses, university presses, and magazine publishers.  Working with different editors and authors taught Mauve the importance of understanding the vision of the author, publishing house’s standards, and how the book's main purpose plays a large part in the design process.

Design ideas can be difficult to come by at times, especially when designing the same type of books over time; Mauve finds ways to be inspired by visiting book stores or referencing current trends.

Although the reward of being a designer is immense, Mauve didn't hesitate when given the offer of becoming a full time instructor at SFU. 

"As an instructor who would potentially motivate students to become better designers and see the world through a different lense, I also look forward to be challenged and inspired by a younger generation: they have new ideas and perspectives which are very essential to a designer who may fall into a wreck of producing the same type of work repeatedly".