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.
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.
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.
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.
The Girl Guide is a fantastic new book about puberty and growing up, infused with feminism and fun. Holly Dunn spoke to creators Marawa Ibrahim and Sinem Erkas about the process of developing this colourful book.
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.
Micaela Alcaino is a London based designer with many fascinating book covers to her credit. Among them is the cover for Brittany Newell’s Oola. Here she details for Spine what went into creating this piece.
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 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.
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.
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.
Anne Jordan and husband Mitch Goldstein are designers based in Rochester, New York. Among their collaborative works is the book cover for The Gist of Reading from Stanford University Press, due out in early 2018. Here they detail their process for developing the cover.
Sarah Darby possesses a multitude of talents. From designer to art director, to Illustrator and photographer. Here in her own words, Darby details for Spine how she used her skills to step up as illustrator for the extremely successful Joss Stirling book series for Oxford University Press.
Zoe Norvell is a Brooklyn based freelance cover designer. Among her incredible portfolio of work is the cover design for The Redemption of Galen Pike, by Carys Davies. Here Norvell details her process for developing the work, in her own words.
Designer Jo Walker has an impressive portfolio of book covers. Among her amazing works are jackets for the novels of Laline Paull, published by 4th Estate. Here, in her own words, Walker details the rationale behind the design for the most recent of these books, The Ice.
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.