The Art of Living Series

I just finished number nine in this series of philosophy books published in the UK.

These are some of the ones that got away

After the Cure

The Untold Stories of Breast Cancer Survivors

Fatigue. Chronic pain. Insomnia. Depression. These are just a few of the ongoing, debilitating symptoms that plague some breast-cancer survivors long after their treatments have officially ended. This is a very simple, direct solution - frayed survivor ribbon. For some covers an idea comes to you and you think, "Is this too obvious a solution?" Once I came up with it though I couldn't think of a better solution.

Imprint logos

I started my career by being immersed in corporate identity work (Domtar logo c.1999). I still love doing logo designs and all the more when they overlap with my second love - book cover design.

These are imprint logos I designed for two small independent Canadian publishers.

The Steppes are the Colour of Sepia

Connie Braun

From the back cover copy: "... invites the reader to embark on a journey that traces the paths of ancestral memory over the steppes of the Russian empire to the valleys of Canada’s Fraser River." The smaller images below show the order of presented sketches. I really liked the idea of a mennonite carriage being left behind with the horse running away. The problem with this one and the other ones that followed was that I was using imagery that most Canadians associate with mennonites but they were fundamentally inaccurate. Here is comment from author : "Such imagery belongs to the Amish strain that immigrated from the Netherlands to North America in the 1700's (prior to the beginning of my story) and have nothing at all to do with my heritage ... the Russian/Soviet Mennontites of this story did not wear costumes, they assimilated - they had to, under communism."

The final accepted cover shows a red scarf blowing over the Russian Steppe.

Crisis of Conscience

Amy Shaw

This cover is just going through as I write this. The first sketch is below. Usually when you get an e-mail from a publisher stating that the author showed the sketch to some designer friends, you know your cover is in for a rough ride. In this case the suggestions really helped and made for a better cover. I had intended the cover to look like a typical recruiting poster from the period but that wasn't coming through enough in the first sketch. The choice between whether to fight or resist was also not being conveyed strongly enough.

Mapping Marriage Law In Spanish Gitano Communities

Susan Drummond

From the back cover copy: "... through small- and large-scale studies of Gitano marriage law in a modern urban centre, and in particular communities and families." This is a map of Jerez, Spain with two wedding bands integrated into it. The author in this case is my sister and this is her second book. I owe her a debt of gratitude because she recommended me for my first cover design job - her first book.

Animal's People

Indra Sinha

Animal is the main character in this novel. As a child he was horribly disfigured by the explosion of a pesticide chemical facility, not unlike the incident in Bhopal. As a result he can only walk on all fours.

This was another one that got away. It was for a book about how the USA is over medicating itself.

Writing in the Cegeps

Zsolt Alapi

Just sending this one off to the printers. Cegeps are post secondary colleges in Quebec. It is a collection of student writing.

This is the original photo. St. Catherine Street Montreal. Editor found it a bit drab and had an aversion to the pigeons so I added different facade and threw in a fire hydrant.

The Torontonians

Phyllis Brett Young

The book was brought back into print and they wanted a new cover. For a while I considered using most of the original cover with slight alterations but decided against it in the end. I kept the illustration of the woman whose martini glass morphs into the Toronto City Hall building in Nathan Phillips Squrare.

Distributive Principles of Criminal Law

Who Should be Punished How Much?
Paul H. Robinson

House of Houses

Pat Mora

This is a memoir of a Mexican-American family. From the back cover: “Mora uses the image of a house—the house of houses—during a single year, a fruitful metaphor that allows her to dwell on the bright beauty of flowers, birds, and trees, emblems of the loving legacy of her nurturing family.” The house is imagined floating in the sky. I liked the idea of using a collage of family photographs arranged in the shape of a house.

This was the other option presented.