I designed 20 of the Richard Stark (Parker) novels for the University of Chicago Press and they asked me to design the Grofield ones as well - The Dame, The Damsel, Blackbird and Lemons Never Lie. The 4 Alan Grofield novels work in tandem with the Parker novels.They wanted a visual connection to the first series but also wanted them to stand on their own.
Instead of a gun silhouette as the identifying motif I went for a silhouette of a "dame" - intentionally cheesy - to highlight the fact that these novels are kind of pulp-y and are a little more about women and relationships. I inverted the visual content from the first series and put the illustrative elements inside the silhouette. The first option below was a deemed a little too cool and sci-fi looking.
I went back to the gun motif but updated the style of revolver because these novels take place in the late sixties and early seventies. They wanted Richard Stark to stand out more as well. I thought it would be cool to treat his name as though it were a cheap motel sign from that era. The idea would be to have a different sign for each of the four novels. I also injected more colour as befitting the time period.
This option had to be reined in a bit because we were moving too far away from the Parker series and there had to be a stronger connection. Richard Stark's name, a huge selling point, had to be more standardized and quickly recognizable. I went back to the woman silhouette and used the motel sign idea for Richard Stark but treated it the same on all of them.
The author suggested the idea of a double umbrella which is alluded to in the book. I must have spent my entire Saturday trying an assortment of umbrellas with different rain effects but couldn't get the right tone for this book on Dante and medieval culture. The one with the black background was where I arrived at the end of the day - kind of static and lifeless. After putting it aside for the rest of the weekend I gave another stab at it this morning in the style of Leonardo's sketches.
This is book 3 in this series
These two just went through for the same press. The first one is a fictionalized memoir. The main character is a reporter for a yiddish press in New York. The author asked if Don Quixote could be worked into the cover somehow.
Work in progress
The title for this book of poetry is The Little Yellow House, in reference to Van Gogh's house in Arles. The titles of the poems are all the titles of his paintings