Welcome, my name is Andrew Ashton and what you will see here is a showcase for some of my work.
I first started out in publishing in an editorial department before becoming a book designer and then illustrator and then font designer. Within these sections you will see samples of maps, pictures and all things associated with books. I’ve worked on various types of books from business to literary fiction to non-fiction biographies, fantasy to thrillers. They range from lesser-known gems to global bestsellers.
If you are wondering what a book designer does well the appearance of everything in a book from the inside front cover to the inside back cover is the responsibility of the book designer and sometimes the spine. The cover is usually prepared by other designers well in advance of the rest of the book. In the USA the book designer is credited on the imprint/copyright page while in Britain they are very rarely acknowledged anywhere although the cover designer maybe, especially if he has provided the cover as a freelance. My name has been credited in books, mainly on the imprint/copyright page as an illustrator and map maker. Occasionally I have been mentioned directly and indirectly in acknowledgements.
I first started out in Kogan Page business publishers. I actually started as an editorial assistant to a publisher and also to the managing director Philip Kogan. I used to produce various internal papers and reports. At some point Phillip Kogan realized I had a knack for presenting information so he asked me to set up an in-house typesetting unit and this led me to designing books. After several years at Kogan Page I moved to HarperCollins Publishers as a book designer. I worked in a team with a bunch of fantastic designers (Terence, Louise, Rachel, Vera and Jacqui). We designed books for different lists as they came in. Sometimes it would be part of a book such as a plate section, endpapers or a spine. However in a company reorganisation we all got split up. I ended up as the sole designer for the fiction list which included science fiction and fantasy titles, historical and romantic period dramas, thrillers and literary novels.
While I was working at HarperCollins I was struck by personal tragedy. My wife was diagnosed with a very aggressive breast cancer which had spread to her lymph nodes when she was eight weeks pregnant with our only daughter. My wife bravely held on for over five years but died less than two weeks before our daughter started her first year of school in August 2009. A little about my wife and her story can be found elsewhere on this site although there is only one direct link which is easy enough to find if you know that she was the centre of my world.
During my wife’s illness I diversified in to more illustration and fonts and you can see some of these things here. At the time a book also dropped in to my lap. That book was the Dangerous Book for Boys. Conn Iggulden was already a fiction author and his publisher took on this book as well. The book became a huge bestseller and won the book of the year Nibbie (British Book Awards) for the author, and I and the production controller, Nicole Abel, won a Nibbie for the design and production of it.
Now I’m a freelance and I will accept commissions relating to any of the subjects you see in this website. I still have ties to HarperCollins and I still do occasional work for them, mainly illustration and in particular maps.
I hope you enjoy your look around my website. There’s a contact page if you want to get in touch.