Tra Publishing creates beautifully crafted books that celebrate art in all its forms, as well as its creators.
At Tra, each book is a unique experience, meticulously designed and fabricated in response to and with utmost respect for the contents. Tra works closely and often collaboratively with artists and writers to create books about fine and decorative arts, architecture, and design that inspire social, cultural, and environmental awareness. Particular emphasis is placed on the physical components of the bookmaking process, resulting in books that are works of art and modes of expression in and of themselves.
Tra was founded in 2016 in Miami by Swiss-born graphic designer and author Ilona Oppenheim. The publishing company builds on fifteen years of design excellence through Ilona Creative Studio, Oppenheim’s creative consultancy firm. The impetus for Tra was to create beautiful, substantial, and special books that readers experience physically, as opposed to digitally. “In today’s world of excess and technology, we believe that the tactile process of holding and reading a book is a mindful experience that creates a real connection to life,” Oppenheim says. “We want our readers to appreciate details such as the beauty of color on paper, and we want people to share these books with their friends and family.”
Tra’s design aesthetic is one of restraint; the images and words on the pages take precedence. Tra’s award-winning designers treat each title as an entirely original expression—in essence, there is no typical Tra book. The firm works with carefully selected bookmakers around the world and places a premium on ethical bookmaking practices and materials. Once a book is published, the relationship continues; Tra goes beyond traditional publicity practices to bring the contents of each title to life in additional ways, such as through exhibitions, events, and workshops. Tra is passionate about books, and passionate about the contribution each book can make. As part of that commitment, proceeds for many of Tra’s titlesare donated to environmental, arts, and activist organizations.
Publisher & Creative Director
Publisher & Creative Director – Ilona brings over two decades of renowned and elegant graphic design work as well as classic high-end branding to Tra. She grew up in Switzerland, where she was exposed to marketing luxury brands from an early age. Her father was the founder of La Prairie Cosmetics, and owned the world-famous Clinique La Prairie in Montreux. Her earliest projects included branding work for Clinique La Prairie, Nikki de Saint Phalle perfume, and Swiss Perfection cosmetics, for which she designed and produced catalogues, wrote copy, and photographed. As a marketer, she has participated in the sale of three billion dollars in luxury real estate globally through her consultancy firm, Ilona Creative Studio. She is also the author of Savor, a cookbook of rustic recipes inspired by forest, field, and farm, published by Artisan. As a creative director, her background and experience helps Tra maintain an unparalleled level of elegance, sophistication, and attention to detail.
Andrea is an editor, writer, and project manager with more than twenty years of experience in diverse subject matter for a variety of publications, organizations, and audiences. She has edited dozens of museum exhibition catalogues; books on art, architecture, and urban planning; and academic journals. Her clients include The Wolfsonian Museum, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, the High Museum of Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, The Bass, University of Miami, Nantucket Island School of Design and the Arts, and multiple graphic design firms. She has been on staff at magazines and newspapers, and frequently writes articles and book reviews. Her journalism has appeared in many publications, including the Miami Herald, Washington Post, New York Newsday, Entertainment Weekly, and Salon.com. She also writes fiction, which has been published in numerous literary journals.
Director of Operations
Rita brings over twenty years of experience in event production, operations management, and audience engagement to Tra. An expert at establishing processes and building organizations from the ground up, Rita rose through the ranks to become executive director of the YMI Cultural Center in Asheville, North Carolina by the age of twenty-four. She continued with her career at Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts as part of the team that opened the Center’s doors in 2005, and she produced several high-end events. Committed to being involved in the arts and her community, Rita later joined The Bass Museum, where she played a vital role developing collaborative partnerships that helped advance the museum’s mission and expanded audience attendance.
Beth Dunlop is an architecture and design critic and author who lives in Miami Beach and serves as Tra's editor. She has been the editor of the international design and architecture quarterly Modern Magazine and was previously the editor of HOME Miami and HOME Fort Lauderdale magazines as well as the online-only HOME Los Angeles. As a book editor, she has worked with The Wolfsonian Museum and the University of Miami. She was the longtime architecture critic for the Miami Herald, where her work garnered numerous awards, and she has written for a wide array of magazines and newspapers, including House and Garden, Architectural Digest, Dwell, Metropolis, Metropolitan Home, Elle Décor, Interior Design, the New York Times, and the International Herald Tribune. She is the author of numerous books, including Miami: Mediterranean Splendor and Deco Dreams, The Tropical Cottage, Building a Dream, A House for My Mother: Architects Build for their Families, Miami Trends and Traditions, Florida’s Vanishing Architecture (which was turned into an award-winning public television documentary), Classic Coastal Style, and (with Joanna Lombard) Great Houses of Florida.
Public Relations Consultant
Andrea Burnett has over twenty years of creative and innovative public relations and marketing experience in the B2C space. She creates highly visible and successful campaigns for award-winning publishers across the globe. With a robust background in publishing, Andrea has worked with authors in virtually every artistic discipline and boasts an impressive list of media contacts. She lives and works out of northern California.
Associate Creative Director
Samuel commands all aspects of a project, encouraging team members to strive for innovation and perfection. A gifted designer in his own right, his skills create thoughtful and viable publications to attain top quality work. With over fifteen years of experience in advertising and marketing, he devises strategies and events that connects to the audience.
Associate Creative Director
Raul is a seasoned editorial and graphic designer with an extensive background in book publishing. As associate creative director, he is responsible for leading multiple projects and working closely with authors and artists to ensure the editorial and artistic voice and book design excellence is maintained through all aspects of the publication process.
Jeff is a graphic designer well versed in branding, illustration, and book creation. He determines the overall style and tone desired for each project and develops design concepts that articulate the vision to other designers and artists.
Photographer / Web Editor
Luis is an experienced designer, writer, and photographer responsible for all aspects of content. This includes development, design, production, presentation, and evaluation to ensure continuity throughout all aspects of each project.
Promotions Manager & Designer
Andres is a graphic designer bringing a wealth of knowledge in the advertising and branding field. As promotions manager, he formulates design concepts for all print and online marketing campaigns that combine advertising with purchasing incentives to increase the exposure of all publications and events.