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InDesigner: The Herbfarm

InDesign Magazine issue 138 coverThis article appeared in Issue 138 of InDesign Magazine.

How Ron Zimmerman parlayed a one-man typesetting business into the restaurant of his dreams

Sometimes the love of design and layout show up in the least likely of places. Consider The Herbfarm, a AAA 5-Diamond restaurant focusing on regional foods from local sources around the Pacific Northwest. Ron Zimmerman and wife and business partner Carrie Van Dyck opened The Herbfarm in 1986, and today it has grown to include a one-and-a-half-acre on-site garden, a five-acre off-site farm, and an enviable reputation around the world. (The few meals I’ve eaten at The Herbfarm with my wife have been among the most special of my life.)

But The Herbfarm has a secret side, too: Zimmerman’s decades-long experience in the worlds of design and typesetting. During the past couple of years, we’ve corresponded about his background and current working setup in this “other world.” The following sections share Ron’s memories and insights in his own words, quoted from our correspondence.

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David Blatner is the co-founder of the Creative Publishing Network, InDesign Magazine, and the author or co-author of 15 books, including Real World InDesign. His InDesign videos at LinkedIn Learning ( are among the most watched InDesign training in the world. You can find more about David at