Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working with brilliant women including Toni Morrison and Julia Child. I want to celebrate these amazing women along with the great women I am working with now: my clients and the talented women at Odgis + Co.
Toni Morrison is a renowned American novelist and Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winner. One of her novels, Beloved, was adapted into a film of the same name (starring Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover). President Barack Obama presented Morrison with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. I was the Special Projects Designer at Random House Inc. when Toni was an acquiring editor. I had the great pleasure of working with Toni, designing the covers for some of the books she acquired. From Toni, I learned the importance of putting my heart and soul into my work.
When I designed Julia Child's classic cookbook, The Way to Cook, she taught me a crucial lesson. No, it wasn't about baking the perfect soufflé. When we were laying out the recipes, she insisted that the how-to steps and pictures always appeared on the same page as their recipe. Words and images mutually reinforced one another, creating a sum that was greater than its parts—just like a good recipe. Julia's book wasn't just a manual. It was a series of stories. But those stories couldn't build on one another unless each one was properly understood.
By Janet Odgis, President and Creative Director of Odgis + Co, an award-winning certified woman-owned design firm based in New York City. For 30 years she has worked with some of the world's most prestigious corporations reinventing ways to define and express their brands.