Books About Books: Clayton Childress on Under the Cover
Since he can remember, sociologist and bibliophile Clayton Childress has been enchanted by process rather than product. That is, he has always loved to learn how things are made. “In elementary school the first thing I ever spent my own money on was an Entertainment Weekly subscription—this was back when EW was doing profiles on producers, screenwriters, etc., and covering entertainment business news.”
Matt Johnson Shares Original Cover Concepts for Goodbye, Vitamin
Matt Johnson is a London based book cover designer. Among the works in his portfolio is the incredible jacket for Rachel Khong's Goodbye, Vitamin published by Scribner UK. Here he shares for us his artwork and process, along with the original concepts developed by the creative team.
Interview with Designer Maria Elias
Maria Elias is an inventive and thoughtful designer. She has received accolades and mentions from AIGA, Design Observer’s 50 Books/50 Covers of 2015, and Type Director’s Club Communication Design for her work on the book Convictions.
Here she digs into her process for us and gives us some thoughts on the world of design.
Emma Ewbank, Creating A Thousand Paper Birds
Emma Ewbank is a senior designer for Bloomsbury. Her portfolio features many notable works including the design for Tor Udall's A Thousand Paper Birds. Here Ewbank describes for Spine what when into creating this remarkable cover.
Designer Jim Tierney Talks Past, Present, and Future Projects
Jim Tierney is an acclaimed book designer where his love of books and images is abundantly clear in everything he does. In 2011, he was awarded a New Visual Artist award and in in 2016, he won a Regional Design Award for Amy Stewart’s Girl Waits With Gun, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Michaela Sullivan: Creative Director, Brian Moore: Art Director, Jim Tierney: Designer/Illustrator). Spine recently caught up with Mr. Tierney to discuss a few items about his practice.
Q & A with Illustrator Sara Mulvanny
Sara Mulvanny is a freelance illustrator based in North Hampshire, England. Her illustrations and hand-drawn typographic elements are reminiscent of the beautiful Art Deco style. Mulvanny has worked with Random House, Harper Collins and Sinsbury’s Magazine since 2010. We caught up with her to find out how she came into the industry, her typical creative process, and her creative contributions for Summer at Hope Meadows and Chasing the Dram: Finding the Spirit of Whisky.
Interview with Suzanne Dean
Suzanne Dean is the Creative Director at Vintage Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House UK. She is one of the world's leading book cover designers and is the creative vision behind designs such as The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes and the UK editions of the works of Haruki Murakami, among many others. Holly Dunn caught up with her at her Penguin Random House office in London for Spine.
Uncommon Cover: Lauren Wakefield’s design for Tom Hanks’ Uncommon Type
Cornerstone’s Junior Designer Lauren Wakefield believes that each creative brief varies considerably. While a design team may look at many different approaches until a final treatment is agreed upon, the concept for Wakefield’s cover design for Tom Hanks’ Uncommon Type came to her instantly.
Daniel Benneworth-Gray on Work-Life Balance & Process
Imagine designer Daniel Benneworth-Gray, head down, tucked into a small, neat alcove. An iMac rests on the big desk, some sheets of good off-white paper and a very black pen off to the side. Here Benneworth-Gray sits, day in and out, churning out massive amounts of work: book covers for every press you've ever heard of, articles on work-life balance for Creative Review, and Meanwhile, his weekly design-news digest.
A Designer's Journey: Karen Horton on Influences, Startups & Cover Creation
Art Director Karen Horton has over a decade's worth of experience within the publishing industry. Currently at Henry Holt & Company, she's also produced creative work for publishers such as St. Martin’s Press, Oxford University Press, Little, Brown, and Company, and Flatiron Books. Here she answers a few questions about her experience, influences, process, and her own venture in developing an online design community.
Ask Polly's Heather Havrilesky Gives Us Creative Advice
Men avoiding you? Getting axed by your employer? Married friends driving you crazy? Polly has the advice you need! Rather, Heather Havrilesky does. Offering insightful help for readers since 2001, Havrilesky currently writes her popular column Ask Polly for New York Magazine. Her book based on the column, How to Be a Person in the World, will be available in paperback Later this month. Havrilesky spoke with Spine about the book, her long and varied history as a writer, and gave us advice for surviving a career as an artist.
The Writer's Practice: Kristen Radtke
Kristen Radtke is a writer. Also, she's an illustrator and she designs book covers. Plus, she works as a film and video editor. And she's the managing editor of Sarabande Publishing.
Radtke created the graphic novel Imagine Wanting Only This, described by the New York Times as "a story of the young writer's growing fascination with ruins and abandoned places, as she attempts to come to terms with death." The review continues on to call Radtke "a superhuman of illustration, a grandmaster." But even superhumans have to put pen to paper, have to start with a speck of a concept and grow it and grow.
Joan Wong on Her Beginning, Process, and Favorite Design
Joan Wong has designed covers for a variety of publishers over her career including Alfred A. Knopf, Farrar Straus and Giroux, New Directions, Simon and Schuster, Harper Collins. She currently creates for Vintage and Anchor Books of Penguin Random House. Here Wong joins with us to discuss how she got her start in the industry, her process for designing, and her favorite cover that she developed.
Kapo Ng on designing for Samrat Upadhyay's Mad Country
Among the wonderful book jackets that NYC based Kapo Ng has worked on is Samrat Upadhyay's Mad Country. Here the designer details for Spine how this cover came together.
Kris Waldherr, the Intuitive Author
Mothering a daughter taught author Kris Waldherr just how ubiquitous one particularly popular storybook character— the elegant princess— can be.
“I was confronted by how impossible it is to avoid the marketing of princess clothing, toys, and films,” said Waldherr. “From there, I began researching the historical realities of what it was really like to be young, royal, and unmarried. Turned out it was kind of awful for the most part despite the fabulous gowns and tiaras. Historically speaking, most of the time you were married off to someone who wasn’t Prince Charming to form political alliances, and then were under a lot of pressure to cough up a male heir.”
Lauren Harms on Designing the Cover for Startup
Lauren Harms is a book cover designer living in New York City. Having been highlighted before for her work on Invincible Summer and Where the Peacocks Sing, we catch up with her once again to talk about the process of her cover for Startup - the new must read by Doree Shafrir.
What Lies Beneath the Dust Jacket?
Underneath the dust jacket of hardcover books there are sometimes design elements hidden within the physical object. These surprise components can go unnoticed in a retail setting, only to be discovered after purchase. Book cover designer and Booktuber Holly Dunn joins us to look at a few examples of what you might discover upon inspecting the books on your shelf.
Andersen M on Creating the Paperback Cover of Orphans of the Carnival
The UK paperback version of Orphans of the Carnival features amazing paper cutouts created by the skilled hands of the design duo that is Andersen M. Here, in their own words, they share a little on who they are and how they went about developing the artwork of this cover.
The Writer's Practice: Greer Macallister
Greer Macallister tells people she writes fiction because she has no material for a memoir.
“I’m far too happy and therefore boring,” said the USA Today bestselling author of The Magician’s Lie. “My characters live far more exciting lives than I do.”
Macallister’s latest release, Girl in Disguise, is a testament to that claim. The “rip-roaring, fast paced treat” (according to Booklist) features real-life detective Kate Warne.