Clowns and Rats Scare Me

Cary Clack

This is a collections of Columns by Cary Clack. Every once in a while you are given a title for a book that is so strong that it practically drives the design process. I wanted to find the simplest way of combining clowns and rats in a single concept. I only presented this one cover concept. Just got the word that cover is approved.

Ellington Uptown

John Howland

Originally I intended to make the cover look like a vintage NY subway car with all the type worked into the signage. It seemed a little predictable so I went with his famous orchestra in the shape of an arrow pointing up. I wanted it to emulate a jazz poster from the era.

Circling Home

John Lane

From the cover copy: "Centering an old, chipped saucer over his home, he traced a circle one mile in radius and set out to explore the area. Circling Home recounts the ‘adventure travel’ he does within that circle." Some covers do themselves. I found a chipped saucer in my kitchen cupboard and traced out a one mile radius circle on a satellite image of the author's home.

This is book about wealth and privilege in New York city at the turn of the last century. I must have spent an entire afternoon trying to get the concept with the white glove laid over a period map of the Bronx to work but gave up in the end. Maps have been used so much on cover designs that it is very hard to use them in an original way. I ended up using the type "The Bronx" from the legend of the map so all was not lost. It still needs some refinement but the general concept is there.

The Ascent of Money

Niall Ferguson

Another one that got away.

Living Waters

Margaret Wooster

When you are doing covers for University Presses you rarely have the budget for stock photography. I created this cover out of four Shutterstock images (below). Shutterstock, for those who don't know, is a royalty free subscription image service.

The Absolute Violation

Richard Matthews

The Collectors of Lost Souls

Warwick Anderson

Sometimes you get such a great image to work with that your only job as a cover designer is to get out of the way.

The Last Well Person

Norton M. Hadler M.D.

I found this Dr. Suess-like image and thought it could work really well for this cover. The only thing I added was the hospital signage above. This cover was a tough one to strike just the right chord.

The Indian Who Bombed Berlin

Ralph Salisbury

This book of stories deals with the horrors of war. These covers represent two executions of the same idea. I only presented the one with the illustrated clouds and blue sky because I wasn't happy with the monochromatic feel the other one. I also like the contrast with the beautiful blue sky and the impending devastation. I found the painting of sky with clouds and added the bombs.