Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Waiting for the Apocalypse

I worked with Chin-Yee Lai at W. W. Norton on this jacket. I usually feel the most pressure to please an author with memoirs because they're so personal. The first question I usually have for an art director with memoirs is if we need to put an image of the author on the cover. Most of the time the answer is no. This jacket went through many revisions with no family photo until I asked for them. Should have asked sooner as it turns out...

The book is a coming of age memoir taking place in the 1970s. The author focuses on her childhood in an ultraconservative Catholic family. I thought the writing was often humorous, but there is an undertone of sadness.

From the first round, the young girl praying, kind of a 70s look with the hair. The distorted type making the sign of the cross:

Long shot here, but I really like the bizarre nature of the photo. The young girl, outfitted in 70s attire, laying in wait with her toy gun:

I was drawn to this photo of a young girl reading the bible. I think the one eye peeking out says a lot:

Eventually I did ask for family photos. Here is a cropped image. The "t" in waiting" is meant to look like a rosary:

And the final. The family photo turned on it's side with a sense of upheaval proved to be the best solution. Perfect sense of time and place:


Jonathan said...

Been meaning to tell you, my wife loves the hand drawn arrow on the final jacket design.

The real author's photo definitely works best.

Anne said...

I prefer the headless family + rosary option. I think the color works so well, too. I remember a lot of green from the 70s!