Anne Jordan, Mitch Goldstein & The Gist of Reading

Anne Jordan, Mitch Goldstein & The Gist of Reading

Anne Jordan and husband Mitch Goldstein are designers based in Rochester, New York. Among their collaborative works is the book cover for The Gist of Reading from Stanford University Press, due out in early 2018. Here they detail their process for developing the cover.

The Gist of Reading argues that reading arises from two kinds of mental work: automatic and controlled processes. The constant interplay between these two kinds of processes is what creates the “gist” of reading. 

We wanted to make a book, the iconic symbol for reading, come alive — as if we were opening up the book and seeing the process of reading going on within the pages. To do this, we projected typography onto blank pages of a book and photographed the setup in our dark studio.


We absolutely love combining digital projection with real physical objects that we can touch and manipulate. The projector is one of our favorite tools because it fuses the physical with the digital in a way that no other tool can. The combination of the projector and paper pages allowed us to generate over 1000 possible compositions. Eventually we edited our photos down to the one that best captured the feeling of reading bursting out of the pages.


In the final cover, the title text is duplicated with crisp digital type to contrast the photograph, representing the relationship between the automatic and controlled processes in the brain.


To be published by Stanford University Press in January 2018.