NOFA Vermont's annual Vermont Organic Farm and Food Guide is out! This was a fun project, a little unusual: it had been done by a different designer for the past few years, who I had worked on it with while I was working at NOFA, and who was gracious enough to share his source file with me. It's always interesting to work with other people's files, like a little glimpse into their creative process. Often a problem can be solved in more than one way, and which way you choose can be affected by training, experience, and materials available, including which version of the program you're using, or which one you started with. This project had originally been built in QuarkXPress, and then was moved over to the more common Adobe InDesign two years ago, but still retained some funny legacy issues -- notably, I think because Quark didn't handle tables well, the directory chart had been set up as a simple text document, instead, with shaded bars and lines added to give the appearance of a table.
I ended up rebuilding much of it and redesigning some parts, especially the directory chart itself, to better match my own process and aesthetic. The major challenge of the project is organizing the data of the directory – about 500 farms and processors, plus their locations, contact information, and main products and sales outlets. The chart format was already largely set, but I turned it into a table, set up a mail-merge, and spent some time trying to make it more legible and easier to interpret.
In addition to the directory of producers, the guide contains a farmers' market directory, a recipe, and information about NOFA Vermont, organic certification, and the local food system. If you live in Vermont, check your local co-op or library for a hard copy or contact NOFA Vermont to have one mailed to you.