Design, Illustration

Always Be Teaching: Book Formatting & Illustrations

Emily created the cover design, illustrations, and interior design for John Meese’s debut book, Always Be Teaching: 50 Illustrated Insights On How To Grow Your Business by Creating Content Online

Design Lead

Emily Mills



John Meese

About the Client:

John Meese is a traditionally trained economist turned serial entrepreneur and author. He is on a personal mission to eradicate generational poverty and views entrepreneurship as the most effective path to worldwide change.

Project Goals:

Throughout his time teaching thousands of students as the Dean of Platform University, John wrote a weekly original newsletter called Teach It Forward. When John helped sell Platform University, he was able to retain the rights to all of the newsletters and decided to package the best insights into this book.

John needed 50 separate newsletter documents merged into a single book. The goal was for the content to feel fun and easy-to-digest, not like reading a bunch of email newsletters.



The content was originally formatted for email, not a book. Each newsletter used a sans serif font and was formatted with line breaks between single sentences and small paragraphs… perfect for email, but not ideal for book readers! We re-formatted the text to be easier to read as a PDF or physical book by:

  1. Choosing a serif font (Adobe Caslon Pro) known for its legibility and improved digital adaptability
  2. Reformatting the paragraphs and sections to be longer in length
Chapter length

The individual newsletter length varied. Initially I designed the book to flow from one chapter to the next, no matter if that new chapter started on a left-hand page or right-hand page. On review of the whole book, it felt better to have all chapters consistently start on right-hand pages like most traditional books, despite some large gaps of white space. I also had to get creative with a few chapters’ formatting, moving elements around to fit in the allotted 2 pages per chapter so the whole book wouldn’t be thrown off. 


This book was to be initially released as a digital PDF, with the possibility of printing later on, especially if there was demand.  I needed to format this book once for both formats. To solve this problem, I created equal margins on all sides and centered the page numbers and chapter titles. This way, the digital version of this book can be printed without any reformatting. The formatting may not look like other traditional print books, but it saves the client on costs and most readers won’t even notice.