Dumb Questions for Smart Designers with Jennifer Heuer

Jennifer Heuer is a graphic designer, illustrator and freelance art director. She primarily specializes in book cover design. Using custom typography, illustration or her own photography, she centers the cover around a concept or visual theme within the manuscript. But don’t judge Jennifer by her book covers, because she is much more.

Jen has written about women in book design on LitHub’s blog, and her work has been featured in various other publications including Print Magazine, The New York Times, and more. She is a visiting professor in Pratt Institute’s ComD department, where she was also a graduate.

We have been sitting on this Dumb Questions interview for a while, but to no fault but our own because we have been very busy, but this one with Jennifer Heuer is definitely worth the wait. She was a ray of sunshine, as we did this interview toward the tail end of summer when Jennifer was on vacation at the beach. We are thankful that she made the time and for her witty answers, plus we apologize for taking so long. She still hasn’t Tweeted in a while. 

Q. Burgers or Cake?

(Laughs) Burger, for sure.

Q. What was your favorite book as a kid?

Book Cover Design by Jennifer HeuerMy mom read The Secret Garden to me when I was a kid. This is nostalgic, but there is something wonderful about those memories of sitting on the couch and listening to her read that to me.

Q. In your opinion, what is the best bar in Brooklyn?

Definitely Alibi in Fort Greene/Clinton Hill area. I went to school at Pratt and that was our college bar that felt like it grow up with me. It is still around and has the same divey vibe that I love.

Q. Do you think a world with adorable puppies on every corner would get annoying after a while?

Book Cover Design by Jennifer Heuer(Laughs) I think it would probably make us appreciate puppies less. After a while, it wouldn’t be annoying, you just wouldn’t notice a cute puppy as much. A lot of puppy poop everywhere.

Q. What’s more satisfying, a freshly sharpened pencil or putting on a brand new pair of shoes?

I have to go for the shoes on that one; I like shoes too much. Right now, I am wearing silver Birkenstocks.

Q. How fast are you?

I am one of those New Yorkers who get really mad at people who walk slowly. I walk probably faster than most New Yorkers, which probably makes me look like an idiot walking down the street. I would whiz past you.

Q. Why haven’t you Tweeted in awhile?

(Laughs) I sorta forget to use Twitter honestly. I use it mostly as a business-centric platform, just posting work I was doing, but it got to a point where I didn’t find it interesting as much and then just forgot about it.

Q. Do you cross your ankles when in the dentist’s chair?

NY Times Illustration by Jennifer HeuerHuh, I have no idea. Probably. I am usually listening to the terrible music and wondering how I can change it. (Pauses) I probably cross my ankles.

Q. Given 30 characters of free skywriting, what would you write?

This is a tough one. My cop out answer is to use that money and give it to charity instead.

Q. One pillow or two?

Usually one and it is usually on the floor in the morning.

Q. What are your plans tonight?

Plans tonight are the last dinner on the beach; probably seafood of some sort.