Air Mask
Air Mask
Air Mask

Air Mask

Trio Design & Marketing Communications, Inc., Akron, Ohio, 2006


Air Mask is a book of poems by Vanita Oelschlager. It reaches out to those who have been tested by the daily struggles of living with multiple sclerosis and other chronic diseases. “Air Mask” is particularly fitting as the title poem. The caregiver must indeed make sure she or he is getting enough oxygen before trying to help anyone else. This is conveyed in the cover design with a multilevel emboss that portrays the tubing of an oxygen mask.

Vanita asks us to understand a little more about the life of the caregiver. The burden of trying to provide for another’s most basic human needs often leaves many gasping for air. Yet most forge ahead, putting on a brave face—a mask—for the rest of the world to see, including the one needing and getting the care. The design visually communicates the intertwined lives of caregivers with those they care for; thus the photography in Air Mask shows how two images depend on each other to make a single statement. As such, it serves as a wonderful metaphor for the journey of Vanita’s and Jim’s lives, which is shared in these pages.

Juror Notes

“Terrific cause—beautifully crafted book.”

Collections: 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2006
Repository: Denver Art Museum
Discipline: Book design
Format: Book


Design firm
Trio Design & Marketing Communications, Inc.
Creative director
David M. Buehler
Art director/designer
Jennie Levy Smith
Jacket designer
Jennie Levy Smith
David Shoenfelt
Production director
David M. Buehler
Production coordinator
David M. Buehler
Production artist
Jennie Levy Smith
Picture editors
David M. Buehler, Jennie Levy Smith
Vanita Oelschlager
Kurt Landefeld
Trim size
6.5 x 8 inches
Quantity printed
Austin Printing, Inc.
Jacket printer
Austin Printing, Inc.
Sundance Felt Natural White 80 lb. (cover); Finch Opaque Vanilla Vellum 80 lb. (text); Gilbert Clearfold White Medium 30 lb.
Binding method
Trio Publishing