Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Well and the Shallows

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

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.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I've decided to start a design blog. You lucky people!

In the future, book covers, DVD covers, design process, art, etc. For now, one of my recent cover designs that I think came out fairly nice.