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Testimonials

Freelance Editor


Nora Koch is an editor’s dream: inquisitive, responsive, prepared, flexible, and pinpoint sensitive to the texts she transforms into memorable books. She thoroughly inhabits the manuscript, asks sharp questions about content, and treats the editor as a partner at every turn. She solicits the editor’s thoughts about type, about how images and text should interplay, about how the cover should feel. And once the design ideas start flowing, she takes all comments eagerly and gracefully into account—even an editor’s sometimes-tart reactions. She also has this editor’s respect because she treats books as individuals. Her sole aim is to enable it to speak clearly for itself. That is her “style”: no two Nora Koch-designed books look alike because—carefully, patiently, perceptively—she locates for each the look and feel that make it shine on its own.

— Phil Freshman, St. Louis Park, Minnesota

Hazelden Publishing


Nora Koch has designed and typeset some of our most respected and successful books on the trade market. For each title, Nora created an original design that was sensitive to the tone and content of the book, and she was attentive to the fine details of typesetting. Nora was always available, personable to work with, accepted changes with ease and creativity, and completed assignments under tight deadlines. Nora’s work epitomizes the essence of stellar design work: The effort of what went into the design is effortless for the reader, who gets involved with the message of the work to a degree that he or she does not even know the design makes the message possible.

— Don Freeman, Managing Editor


Minnesota Children’s Museum


Nora is an exceptional publication designer. She made the process of creating a book a pleasurable and educational experience. Nora worked very well with us as first-time book publishers, gently guiding the design process with patience and flexibility. The final product was more than we had originally envisioned thanks to Nora’s talent and expertise!

— Marcie Oltman
Exhibit Developer


Minnesota Historical Society Press


Nora Koch’s work on a study of the local history and architecture of a rural Minnesota community I authored enhanced the meaning of the book through a design based upon sensitive treatment of graphic means to create the published volume. Building Community, Keeping the Faith combined one-hundred-and-ninety-eight pages of text with one-hundred-and-twenty-five images. Every page of the book that contains a photograph, floor plan, architectural elevation, diagram, or map appears with the relevant text, realizing my primary goal to make image equal to text in meaning. Scale and placement of image in every case facilitated the understanding of the material culture of the community on both verbal and visual levels of comprehension. The sequential design of page after page facilitated the development of the narrative while sustaining interest in the variations of layout on individual pages.


As a curator of a university art gallery, I have written and designed exhibition catalogues and have an appreciation of the skill and sensitivity required to conceive of the entire publication while not losing sight of the composition of each page from cover to index. Nora Koch has that kind of comprehensive mastery as well as control of detail. She conceives of the whole as the sum of all its parts and adds that quality of natural unity of design essential to exceptional performance.

— Fred Peterson, Author, (Winner, Minnesota Book Awards—Best History Book)


Helmer Printing


I have been working with Nora Koch at Gravel Pit Publications for over five years. Her electronic files are always a breeze to work with and her creative work is very fun to print. Nora’s style is warm and unique. She is very talented, yet flexible enough to do formal work.

— Sara Junker, Sales Representative


Mazda Press


I highly recommend Nora Koch for her work on designing my book—Half the World: The Social Architecture of Safavid Isfahan, 1590-1722. The job was demanding and complicated—photos, illustrations, and tables to be integrated into a text with many foreign terms. Her solutions to these problems were superb. She made my arguments clearer and stronger—the look of the finished work far exceeded my hopes. I could not commend her more highly.

— Stephen P. Blake, Author,

Associate Professor, Author St. Olaf College