News Bites: Graphic Design Alum Debuts Newly Published World War II Book in Grand Rapids
Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) alumna Amy Johnson (’14, BFA Graphic Design) recently debuted her new book, Letters Lost Then Found, at a local author event in Grand Rapids, MI.
Letters Lost Then Found chronicles the extensive correspondence between Johnson’s grandfather, William Raubinger, and his youngest brother Freddie, who left home at age 19 to serve in World War II and never returned. Along with photographs of the letters themselves, arranged in chronological order, the book features a running timeline of key historical information about the war, pertaining particularly to the China Burma India Theatre in which Freddie served.
Amy Johnson with copies of her new book, Letters Lost Then Found (image courtesy of Amy Johnson)
The book was published earlier this year by Splattered Ink Press out of Grand Haven, MI, marking the culmination of a journey that began when Johnson first conceived of the book as a project for a publication design class at KCAD in 2013. The book would go on to win a prestigious Gold ADDY Award in the National American Advertising Awards in 2014.
“I feel six inches taller from the relief, happiness, and pride of overcoming obstacles in taking a large project from start to a successful finish,” Johnson says. “Yet, there is also a certain amount of sadness because my grandfather and beloved grandmother are no longer alive and able to see the finished book, printed for all to see. Slowly though, the sadness has been replaced with happiness that so many others will now have another view of World War II, and a story of the uncle I never knew will remain.”
The event in Grand Rapids gave Johnson her first opportunity to speak publicly about the book and interact directly with readers. She and nine other local authors shared their work with the audience and afterwards answered questions and signed copies of their books.
“I am continually surprised by the response from my readers,” says Johnson. “Some are familiar with the China Burma India Theater, some have traveled to see where their family member had served, some are collectors of letters simply for the story within the story and the lost art of letter writing.”
Johnson will continue to engage with West Michigan audiences in the coming months at events in Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, and Muskegon.
To learn more about Letters Lost Then Found, visit letterslostthenfound.com.
Learn more about KCAD’s Graphic Design program at kcad.edu/graphicdesign.