Faculty in the Spotlight – April 2012

Professor David Delano is an adjunct professor who has been teaching the Book Production and Design course in the Pace Publishing program since 2002.  For the past five years, Professor Delano has also been a Senior Account Executive for Toppan Printing Company, America.  Based in Tokyo, Toppan Printing Company is the largest printer in the world, and Professor Delano works with US publishers to create, produce, and deliver all sorts of high-end gift and illustrated books to the US market.  His current publishing accounts are Random House, HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster, and many others.

With years spent in production, design, managing editorial, and operations management for book publishing companies like Harper & Row and Random House, Professor Delano’s career has been diverse and wide-ranging. He spent much of that time innovating and implementing desktop publishing, electronic files, digital prepress, and FTP sites, and wore a variety of different hats along the way: everything from book production assistant to VP of Global accounts, and every stop in between! Professor Delano has also contributed his time and expertise to several organizations, including Bookbuilders West and the Book Industry Guild, serving on boards, committees, and even as a judge for the NY Book Show.

Professor Delano teaches the required Book Production and Design course online in the Fall semester and in the classroom during the Spring semester.  According to Professor Delano, the biggest change to the course over the last 10 years has been expanding the vision of the class beyond mere production.  Only three sessions are devoted to print, paper, and binding — the basics of book production.  The balance of the classes cover how the production department interacts with all the other departments, how publishing decisions get made, and who makes those decisions and why.  “I view my students as the publishers of the future,” he explained, “and try to give them the tools they need to make sure that their company’s intellectual assets are viable into the next century.”

It’s clear that book production has undergone some incredible changes over the last decade, and Professor Delano has been on the cutting edge of understanding those changes and what they mean for the publishing industry.  According to Professor Delano, “Content is still king, only the delivery devices are changing.  The presentation of ideas and images still has to happen, and the principles of visual design will continue to be a critical element of how those ideas and images get to market.  The book is not dying, but the book market is developing other channels.”

Along with the knowledge and experience that he has to impart, one of Professor Delano’s biggest gifts to his students is his enthusiasm for what he teaches.  Of all the aspects of the business in which he has worked, Professor Delano says, “what I teach is my favorite part.  How and where it all comes together: production and design.  Where the 0s meet the –s, the files meet the server, the ink meets the paper, and the eye meets the idea.  And from a global perspective, too.  In my day job, I work with US publishers to find ways to make beautiful books all over the world.”  Students are incredibly fortunate to have Professor Delano, whose expertise is second only to his enthusiasm, energy, and passion for what he teaches.