MLA Handbook Case Study

MLA Handbook

Role: Visual Design


The eighth edition of the MLA Handbook takes a ground-breaking approach to academic style and simplifies the process of creating works-cited lists. To highlight the importance of this volume, I created a dynamic and engaging visual system to encompass the cover and interior of the book, marketing materials, and landing pages to capture lead acquisitions and promote sales.


Visual Design

To determine the visual direction and promote consistency, I developed style tiles highlighting key graphics, patterns, the color palette, and typography. Covers of previous editions of the Handbook have featured a graphic rainbow treatment and the typeface Brighton, so this was the starting point in my exploration.


From here, the focus moved to the book cover and interior design, including infographics and visual aids to help teach the new style. Knowing that eventually components of the book would be translated to a supporting website, I included icons in the design to add graphic interest and promote visual consistency with the digital tools.



To promote the Handbook, I led the design of direct mail pieces, print and digital advertisements, e-mail campaigns, and a landing page. The purpose of the landing page was to foster lead acquisitions, encourage preorders of the book, and announce the forthcoming MLA Style Center, a resource to support MLA style products and serve as a reference for students and instructors.