Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Anyway, here's St. Raymond of Penafort. According to legend:
Read more here. Though it isn't official, I would say he is the patron saint of windsurfing, having originated it.
Aside from his scholarly pursuits, Raymond preached with untiring zeal to the Jews and Moors (Arab invaders of Spain). He also acted as spiritual director for King James of Aragon and Saint Peter Nolasco, whom he aided in founding the Order of Our Lady of Mercy (Mercedarians) for the ransom of captives from the Moors.
King James valued Raymond so highly that on several occasions he sent him on missions to the Holy See. At one time, however, he stoutly resisted Raymond's admonitions regarding chastity, and a miracle was required before the monarch consented to reform his life. This miracle took place during a visit to Majorca on which Raymond had accompanied the king in the hope of strengthening Christianity there. They had been on the island only a short time when Raymond discovered that the king was involved in a sinful love affair with a woman of the court. The king refused to listen to Raymond's protests, and when Raymond threatened to leave the island, the king threatened with death anyone who would give him passage.Thereupon, or so it is said, Raymond spread his cloak on the water, set up his staff as a mast, and, having rigged up a corner of the cloak as a sail, boarded this miraculous "boat," setting his course for Barcelona. He arrived there the same day, having covered 140 miles in about six hours. A great crowd assembled at the waterfront witnessed the end of this marvelous voyage, which inspired numerous conversions.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I was introduced to Mick Wiggins' art via the cover to My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell. The Caustic Cover Critic has an interview with him--he does this great retro-looking art in Photoshop using a mouse. Sort of a high-tech luddite, in a good way. Check it out!
Monday, July 13, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
The other day, I was inspired by this post on the Book Covers Blog. From now on, when I finish reading a book, I will do a quick cover, no more than 30 minutes spent on it. It's a fun exercise so far, and helps keep the design skills working when in between projects.
This first one is Hadrian VII, by Baron Corvo, a flamboyant English eccentric. It's basically an ode to his own awesomeness and how great he would be as Pope. In the novel, a thinly disguised version of himself is elected pontiff and wreaks havoc in the Church (usually while chain-smoking).
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
A while back I designed the poster for an upcoming film adaptation of G.K. Chesterton's novel, Manalive. One of the stars of the movie, Kevin O'Brien, did a dramatic reading of the text which will be coming out soon. Here's the mockup (note that I had the name wrong--Dale Ahlquist.) A pivotal scene in the book involves a revolver, and it opens with a large man scrambling after his white panama hat through London.
The London houses here were inspired by a book on early 20th century London that I picked up at a used bookstore a few years ago.
Pen and ink, colored in Photoshop.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Dominican Brother Lawrence Lew is a source of inspiration. Located at Blackfriars, he has managed to photograph many of the most beautiful churches and chapels in England, and during his travels has also photographed Rome, Lourdes, and other centers of Catholic faith and culture. His photography is on Flickr here.
As well as being a gifted photographer, Br. Lawrence also writes for The New Liturgical Movement.
I first used one of Br. Lawrence's photos for the cover of Faith and the Future.
With the new book, Handbook of Catholic Apologetics, the powers that be wanted a cover that illustrated a variety of concepts. After pondering for a while and creating a few mockups, I decided to revisit the rich trove of stained-glass images that Br. Lawrence had on Flickr. From there, everything fell into place.
The final cover is matte with spot-gloss on the images and lettering.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
The Well and the Shallows is a collection of essays by G.K. Chesterton. I worked on several ideas (lost now, since I worked on this book three years ago), but since we had published several books within recent years that used photographs of Chesterton on the cover, I thought I would try something different. Most caricatures I found had been used by other publishers as well, so I decided to try my hand at one. After a few tries, I came up with a caricature that the art director approved. The pen drawing (thanks to my trusty Microns) was then colored in Photoshop using a limited palette to imitate a book cover from the 1930’s I had found and liked.
This is one of the few covers I've designed that I still like.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
The Death of a Pope is a thriller by Piers Paul Read, probably best known for his non-fiction book, Alive. It was pretty cool working on a book by him, as I've read a number of his novels and I've been a fan for years.
The book involves a plot against the papacy and a young British woman who gets involved in it inadvertently. I can't say too much more without spoiling the story!
I needed to have an image that conveyed a bit of the story without getting too involved. Once concept was a demon under the Vatican, or under the Sistine Chapel, with smoke. This didn't really work beyond the sketch stage without starting to look comical. One of the other ideas, shown above, was to depict a shadowy figure with a briefcase in front of St. Peter's Basilica. This looked a bit cliché when I did a mockup, like a paperback you'd pick up in the checkout line at Safeway.
I also did a number of mockups involving keys, one with a skeleton that I'm glad we didn't use since I just saw it on another recent book, and a few using imagery from Michelangelo's Last Judgement. But the one that was chosen after many rounds of reworking was this:
The final is a hardcover, with the title and author name embossed on the dust-jacket. The cloud imagery has a double meaning once you read the book. You can see a website I helped set up for it here.