Most badass case design yet...

The case is the hard outer shell of a book, what's under the jacket. Case designs can vary, but often they repeat the name of the book both on the front panel and on the spine, either debossed or in foil or pigment stamp. But I prefer to shake things up, putting illustrations or design elements from the jacket or interior on the case. Little Easter eggs, if you will, for a curious reader. Here's my latest and most ambitious: Illustrations by the incredibly talented Spencer Charles. Actual printed stamp pic TK soon!

The chopping block: Killed Cover sketches


For any given cover, it's possible that I could design a dozen comps that never get beyond a cover meeting. Even if they don't make the final cut, some get an honorable mention in my book (no pun intended!) Below are a few of my favorite sketches from the last two seasons:

Under the Cover: Klickitat


Klickitat by Peter Rock was a very special YA cover design project, one the editor and I felt particularly passionate about. It's a hauntingly beautiful tale of two sisters caught between a mysterious other world and reality, so it was important that the cover reflect those ethereal qualities. I began with images like those below for my initial inspiration:

The editor felt like the lush Oregon landscape was an essential element for the atmosphere of the book, so we continued with images like the above shot by Stefan Wigand. I searched for photographic imagery that would highlight the lush green setting as well as the ethereal presence of the other world. Below are some initial concepts.

Original concept 1

Original concept 1

Original concept 2

Original concept 2

Original concept 3

Original concept 3

Original concept 4

Original concept 4

In the end, there were a lot of great cover contenders, all worth mentioning here. But below is our favorite and the final cover. Photography by the talented Stefan Wigand.

Final cover, photography by Stefan Wigand

Final cover, photography by Stefan Wigand

Klickitat  case

Klickitat case

Final printed book

Final printed book