Thursday, June 18, 2009

On Speed

A cover for NYU Press that came out last year and was designed 2 years ago. Thought I would share a couple of the outtakes I came across recently. On Speed, which was pitched to me as a history book, examines amphetamine as a case study on the place drugs occupy in our culture and our fantasies. Sometimes old comps influence new ones (which I'll post soon). Interesting too how the second comp makes me think of Issac Tobin's Obsession looking at it now. No comparison...his cover is amazing (and just won 50 books/50 covers). However, tiny dots work well to mimic pills too.

Final cover, a graphic take....though technically I'm not sure my pills are completely accurate.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Two Years No Rain

For Random House, this is the second novel I've worked on for Shawn Klomparens (I'll post the other soon). The story revolves around a weatherman in California. As suggested by the title, it hasn't rained for 580 days. For a time, the main character writes and acts for a children's show. He also rides a magic carpet...

I also tried a graphic approach and was pleased they chose this as the final cover. There are many references to meteorology in the book, so I began researching barometers and found various symbols for weather conditions. I altered the symbols below to create the illustration. While there are dark moments to the story, I found many moments of humor and I think the graphic approach here balances those contrasting moods.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ferris Beach

From Anne Winslow at Algonquin Books, Ferris Beach is a coming-of-age story. The book, which publishes in September, just went to press. The main direction was to create a cover that works for the adult and YA markets. Also, the editor specifically wanted a hippie feel to the design. With those ideas in mind, this is what I came up with...

First off, I kept having the image of a young girl's writing. Like doodles in a notebook, I sat down and painted with watercolors all the type for the cover. The resulting type, showing brush strokes and all, felt warm and young. I added in the daisies which gave a seventies feel and made me think of the main character sitting around in her bell bottoms making daisy chains for her hair.

I added a watercolor wash to the back of this photo.

A retro pattern.

This is the cover they chose initially. Turns out another cover for a book by the same author being published by Algonquin (which they hadn't shown me initially and which wasn't yet on Amazon) used all handwritten type. They asked me to take out the photo so both jackets appeared more similar.

The final cover: