A few minutes before this photo was taken in 2002, Rocky Stinehour and I chatted alone on that bench. There he reminded me that books are meant to be useful—not merely beautiful. It was that simple conversation in which he pointed out something so painfully obvious (but never discussed by fine printers) that completely changed the direction of my work—and my thinking about books and design, and their place in the world.

It’s not so difficult to make a beautiful book. And it’s not so difficult to make a useful book. The real trick is to do both at the same time. That’s what Rocky and the staff of the Stinehour Press did. The entire staff of Kat Ran Press aspires to pull off that same trick half as well.

Many thanks, Rocky. I’m honored to have been on your radar and in your outer circle.

On another note, I’m glad I received the memo about wearing khaki pants and a blue shirt that day. I bet Marcus felt like a real ass in that gray shirt.