Catamount April, 29

One of the benefits of living on the US border is that the Adirondacks are literally in your backyard. Probably should have been working but it was such a beautiful day.

The Summit

Just wrapped this one up. Misandry for those who don't know, including me when I was briefed on this, is the hatred of men.

This cover took a couple of kicks at the can before we settled on the this one. It falls into that category of solutions where once you come up with it you say that it can't possibly be that simple and direct - can it?

Enter the Chrysanthemum

Fiona Tinwei Lam

Even though I have baked a lot of loaves of bread in my life I still get the same thrill each time I open the oven and see finished product. The same is true for book covers. I just received this in the mail. The poet sent me a video of her reading one her beautiful poems - Chrysanthemum.

This one was a tough one. Paraphrasing the author: The thesis of the book is that a distinction can be made between two types of objects: one (objects of natural science) can sustain magnification; the other (objects typical of humanistic inquiry) cannot. This means that humanistic inquiry cannot match scientific inquiry. Because the objects of natural science permit magnification, we can dissect them into smaller and smaller pieces, each time discovering new, important information about them. Cultural objects, such as a photograph, will not yield to microscopic study - we generate noise, not signal.

I will admit it is kind of an odd image but I thought it made for an intriguing cover.

The brief for this cover was to somehow convey the sense that the book is a really a conversation between two philosophers. The cover with the two chairs is the approved version.

stock image

approval pending

Do you think there is an unwritten law in graphic design that you can't put a tapeworm on the cover of a book?

Fall 2009 catalogue cover

I love doing catalogue covers. Because they are more ephemeral than book covers you can push the limits a little further.

Thurston is one of Canada's best know nature poets. I added in the tree branches on the edge at the last minute. I was actually closing up the file when I accidentally deleted one of the of masks from another concept that I didn't present and the tree branches overlapped onto this sketch. I really like it when these kind of accidents occur. It makes you stop and look at things in a new way. I posted the other sketch that the branches came from below.

The Watch that Ends the Night

There was no budget for stock photography on this one so I shot it myself. I ran over to a friends house this morning to photograph his canoe strapped to the roof of his barn. I borrowed his lovely daughter Vanessa's hand made paddle and asked my daughter to photograph me from above in a paddling position. As I said in an earlier post this cover really resonates with me. I spent many hours canoeing in the Laurentians when I was growing up. One of my father's many gifts to me was the art of paddling a canoe.

Anatomy of a cover

This is a recently approved cover for a poetry book. Boxing the compass refers to the ability to memorize all 32 points on a compass. It also refers to the action of a rudderless boat which will eventually rotate in a full circle hitting all the points on a compass. The title poem deals with a father on his death bed.

Note that this is just the sketch so it is still a little rough.

So I wait with you in a crowded dark
where ageing men must revive or perish,
and wonder, my father, what under morphine
your dreams are? The old man on his ship’s deck
and you a boy among the ropes and canvas –
that hour’s sunlight over all the days you’ve seen.

I thought it would be interesting to present a small boat on the cover which also resembled a coffin. For my first sketch I actually took an image of a coffin and put in on water. It was interesting but there was something not quite right about it. It needed to be more ambiguous and the water didn't look right for Newfoundland. I found another image of an actual boat that struck the right balance.