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Jared Shapiro

Jared Shapiro is a business analyst and consultant for a software company by day and a freelance layout and book designer by night. We spoke to Jared about how his career evolved since graduating from our Publishing program in 2014 and how he keeps his publishing skills sharp.


What is your current job title and what does that mean on a daily basis?

I am a business analyst and consultant for a software company. While the job doesn’t specifically require skills I learned in the Book Publishing program, I am the go-to person for both editing and design. All documents, whether distributed internally or externally, go through me to be proofread and edited. I was primarily responsible for creating a company style guide, and a new look for document standards. Lastly, I design all logos and pictures as well as fliers, brochures, or help guides using the skills I learned to design a book.

Since graduating I’ve also been working as a freelance layout and book designer. Many small publishers use my services to create their books (both physical and ebook formats). Whether it’s cover design or interior layouts, I’ve worked on just short of a hundred projects, and I take pride in each one.

Can you tell us about your favourite project you’ve worked on or a project that you are particularly proud of?

It’s hard to pick out a project I’m particularly proud of, as I truly love the work I put into most projects I do. Working freelance has allowed me to expand my skills and it has forced me to think outside the box at times. Each publisher has different requirements and different tastes, and it forces you to think ahead… plan for contingencies.

If I were to pick a project I am proud of that is indirectly related to book publishing it would be my development of my company’s standards and style guide. I had the opportunity to reinvent my company’s image. By creating a standard for everyone to follow, my fingerprints are now embedded in every document and logo moving forward. That feels pretty good.

How did your time at Humber help you get where you are now?

Humber had many contacts still working in the industry (including most of the teachers). My first gig came from a small publisher who made a guest appearance in our class. More publishers came, and I never shied away from making connections and networking. Although it never landed me a full-time publishing job, I had constant work placed in my lap from various clients, and eventually one of those clients liked my work ethic so much I was given a permanent position in their software company.

Humber also gave me the experience to develop my own work. Using contacts I made in the field as well as my skills as a layout artist, I’ve self-published four books with the same quality one would find in books produced by established publishing houses. 

Give us a tip (or tips) for students and recent grads hoping to follow in your footsteps.

Say yes to everything. Then make sure you deliver.

My start came because those guest publishers asked if I knew how to do book layouts, and I said yes… then I went to the teacher and asked him where I could learn to layout books. I researched and over-researched, determined not to produce a shoddy product that looked like it was done by a novice.
That first project became my proof of concept.


Since 2014, Jared Shapiro has provided professional layouts and artwork for various publishers and other companies. Having a full-time job working as a consultant and business analyst, he still finds time to work on publishing projects whenever he can. You can connect with Jared on LinkedIn or via his Design House. If you’d like to learn more about Jared’s writing, follow him on Twitter or Facebook, or visit

Jared Shapiro

Photo credit: Shelby Reid