Steve Panton is a cover designer and illustrator in London. Among his works are the jackets for Christina Kovac's The Cutaway, Eugenia Cheng's Beyond Infinity, and Katie Kitamura's A Separation.Here Panton shares with Spine an in-depth review of his creation for Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep, a design for which he was awarded 2nd prize for Penguin Design Award Adult Competition 2013.
Elena Giavaldi is a book cover designer and illustrator based in Brooklyn, New York, currently working as an Art Director at Penguin Random House. We took a moment to catch up with her and discuss her background, process and projects that bring her joy.
When Mariner Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, sought to reissue the popular Orwell classic, 1984, they contacted designer Mark Robinson to come up with a jacket for the hardcover. The final product is quite striking. Here, Robinson details for Spine his process for creating the eye-catching cover.
Anne Jordan and husband Mitch Goldstein are designers based in Rochester, New York. Among their collaborative works is the book cover for Us&Them, a novel about an Iranian-American family, exploring ideas of fragmented lives, family tensions, and migration. Here they detail their process for creating this amazing piece.
When HarperCollins cover designer Jenna Stempel was asked to design the cover for Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give, she was sure that the book would prove to be successful. She could not, however, have foreseen just how successful.
Hand lettering on book covers is a trend that has become increasingly popular in the past few years. Rather than rely on existing typefaces, many designers are opting to draw their own type. Book cover designer and Booktuber Holly Dunn joins us to review a few examples of hand lettering, and share her insight on the process.
Jaya Miceli is an Art Director for Scribner, an imprint of Simon and Schuster. Among her designs includes the covers for Zoey Leigh Peterson's Next Year For Sure, Katie Kitamura's A Separation, and Charles Lambert's The Children's Home. Miceli was kind enough to answer a few questions for Spine.
Melissa Four is a very talented book cover designer whose creations include jackets for Fates and Furies, A Gentleman in Moscow, and How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids. She also developed the cover for Tom Dyckhoff's The Age of Spectacle: Adventures in Architecture and the 21st-Century City, a project for which she had to teach herself how to draw in CAD
Though Last Christmas in Paris won't hit bookstores until October, critics are already praising the book, a romantic, epistolary novel that takes place during World War I. "Unputdownable," wrote bestselling author Karen White. "Last Christmas in Paris stands out not just for the beautiful prose, but also for the characters that literally shimmer on the page. Kudos to Ms. Gaynor and Ms. Webb for … this remarkable novel that will undoubtedly go on my keeper shelf."
Kate Gaughran is a freelance cover designer whose work includes book jackets for Asking For It, Green Glowing Skull, and Don’t Die in Autumn. She spoke with Spine about her process for designing these, as well as answered a few other questions for us.
"One too many people asked me if 'Sleepwalker's' was going to have a sequel, and that kind of question makes me claustrophobic in my soul." In part to push her creative self forward to the next narrative while avoiding this constant question, to skirt the Second Book trap/trope, Jacob moved into a different medium: the graphic memoir.
It was an absolute joy working on The Good People by Hannah Kent. From the very opening pages I was overwhelmed by the rural landscape and how intrinsically it echoed the beauty and fragility of the lives it surrounded – the love, grief and terrible loss. The atmosphere it created for me was almost a physical one that stayed with me long after I finished reading.
A peek at writer Ann Mah’s Instagram feed reveals crusty bread, sunny Parisian kitchens, and candids of her 3-year-old daughter in New York City. As a travel journalist and novelist, Mah firmly embraces the belief that a writer is ideally a wanderer: perhaps there’s a home base, but the inspiration of new experiences and surroundings is a necessity.
Working as a cover designer affords all sorts of benefits: free books, a variety of projects and of course the ability to walk into a bookshop on the other side of the country and see your design work on display. But as with everything in life, working as a cover designer comes with its own set of challenges. Spine spoke with talented designer Emily Mahon to get her perspective.
Erika Swyler's writing practice is summed up in two basic phrases, practical sentences nothing like the lovely prose she spun in her first novel The Book of Speculation and numerous short stories. Her debut bestseller follows two threads stitching together the story of 21st-century Long Island librarian Simon Watson with that of an 18th-century carnival troupe.
Jenna Stempel is a Senior Designer at HarperCollins Children's Books in NYC with work notably featured in the New York Times and the 2015 New York Book Show. Here she talks with Spine once more about her elaborate design process in creating the anniversary book covers for the Little House on The Prairie Trilogy box set - presumably no easy task!
"I often compare it to making a big pot of stew, gathering all the necessary ingredients, preparing them, boiling them up, then simmering them down and hoping to get something that isn't too burnt at the end.
Australian YA novelist Fleur Ferris has a vaster store of life events than most. Previous and current personal and professional titles include police officer, paramedic, mother, daughter, sibling, friend, student, teacher, speaker, rice farmer, traveller, holiday maker, city-dweller and country-dweller. Her role as concerned parent pushed her to an exploration that led to her first novel, Risk, about two 15-year-old girls seeking romance online. She spoke to Spine about the journey.
Nathan Burton is a London-based freelance designer and illustrator. He created the cover for Homegoing, published by Viking. Spine contacted him about the cover. Here is his process for designing the cover in his own words.
Nick Stearn is an art director based in London. Among his works are the covers for James Swallow's Nomad and Exile. We contacted Stearn about the designs. Here is his process for developing them, in his own words.
When Scholastic book designer Maeve Norton heard the title Bad Princess, she knew she wanted in. The nonfiction title by Kris Waldherr presents the tales of more than 30 real-life princesses, beginning in the Dark Ages and ending with Britain's current Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.
Jess Massabrook is a designer with Princeton University Press. There she creates promotional materials for the publisher, as well as designs covers for books such as Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep? and Too Hot to Handle: A Global History of Sex Education. Here Massabrook joins us to answer a few questions on process.
Janet Hansen, a designer at Alfred A. Knopf, has a slew of standout covers to her name that are not only brilliantly designed, but perfectly in tune with the stories they cover, as well. While you might expect that to be the norm, it’s not, but Hansen’s reverence for the written word and the authors she works with ensures that the content and cover are always in sync. Impressed by her breadth of work (which has been celebrated by everyone from The New York Times to Design Observer) we chatted with Hansen to find out how she got her start, what her process is usually like, and what inspired some of her most recent works, including The Bed Moved by Rebecca Schiff and Voices in the Night by Steven Millhauser.
Founded in 2002 by Scot Bendall, La Boca is an award winning boutique design studio. From movie posters, to record covers, to iconic advertising campaigns, their client list includes everyone from Nike, MGM, Warner Bros to The Sydney Opera House and beyond. Scot took time out of his ridiculously busy day to answer a few questions for me about book cover designs.
"My initial inclinations were to take a bunch of stabs at music video imagery and gig posters. Those indie rock bands show off an impeccably curated lifestyle of leaning against graffitied buildings in their threadbare t-shirts and watching the sun set on roofs in Brooklyn. I tried to capture that same romanticized city life on the cover."