Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Half hour covers

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

The Red Book of Chinese Martyrs

This book, an account of recent martyrs in China, was first published in Italian. Here's the Italian cover:

The art director asked me to create an English language version of the cover, which I did.

After some discussion, it was decided that the English language version didn't flow well. So I make several comps. The shoe-shaped notes written in Chinese that feature on all covers are a testimony of what happened to a Catholic girl who was imprisoned. The notes were slipped into a priest's shoe and smuggled out. The girl is pictured on this next cover. After being released from prison, she was forced into marriage with a Communist Party member, and nothing more is known about her life.

After a few more drafts, we settled on this:

I was a little leery of it at first, wondering about the violence depicted. But after deciding to crop the faces of the Red Guards, which I felt made the cover more powerful (showing a faceless, oppressive government in action), I finished it up. The final has spot gloss on the lettering, and the back cover shows some of the victims of Communist persecution profiled in the book.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Manalive, the audio book

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.