Monday, March 22, 2010

The Bluesiana Snake Festival

Every time a title from Counterpoint lands on my desk, I know I'm in for a creative challenge. Their authors are innovative voices in publishing and on my end, it makes for interesting subject matter to work with. Such is the case with The Bluesiana Snake Festival. Here is a short description via Amazon:

"Through a blend of voices — Big Jim Bullshit, Shushubaby, and Brooklyn Bob, to name a few — the musical voice of New Orleans is revealed in its varied dialects, grooves reminiscent of ragtime, jazz, and blues. The result is a look into who these folks are, their ways and beliefs, their senses of truth, and of existence itself. A novel about the joy and beauty of life in the depths, the momentum and narrative heart isn’t driven by a plot — it’s about the trance."

Originally I was asked to consider a piece of artwork, but I felt like it was limiting in it's appeal. Thankfully the publisher and editor were supportive and allowed me free reign to try other directions. After reading the first line of the manuscript it was clear to me the writing was lyrical and rhythmic. Instead of opting to show a straightforward shot of New Orleans, I instead used imagery of a snake which has a mysterious and fluid quality to it.

Comp 1 which has a flat, graphic look:

Comp 2: uses wood distressing and a snake in place of the "S"

And the final approved design using the snake, moon & even a broom representing the street sweepers. I layered the snakes to create the background pattern. Gray prints metallic:

The final paperback mechanical:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

An interview

There is an interview with yours truly up at the Covered Up blog. I'm in some pretty great company with the past book designers interviewed. Take a look.