Uncivil War: The Israel Conflict in the Jewish Community

Uncivil War: The Israel Conflict in the Jewish Community

There are jobs that turn out to be more than just another cover. And this was one of them.

After a few emails, I met the publisher in a nice Muswell Hill coffee. After a chat, we agreed that I would design a few books #freelancerlife and the first one to go was this one.

When I was handed this book, I thought it would be a nice challenge. The brief was good and it allowed me to push the boundaries a bit – like I mentioned in my previous post – which I love. And I did. I googled the author to find that not only he was a very interesting writer but also a heavy metal fan. Metal is not my thing – it was briefly in my early teens – however I do enjoy my Iron Maiden and my Manowar like I enjoy my goth and my prog (each to its own moments). So, Dr. Keith Khan-Harris, specialist in Judaism and heavy metal was my author. I thought to my self that this would be a great chance to work together for a good cover. And it was. (more…)

The Atrocity Exhibition

Joy-Division_Unknown-Pleasures_Shes-Lost-Control-1979

Asylums with doors open wide,
Where people had paid to see inside,
For entertainment they watch his body twist
Behind his eyes he says, ‘I still exist.’

This is the way, step inside. This is the way, step inside.
This is the way, step inside. This is the way, step inside.

No, the title does not refer to the J. G. Ballard book – it is however the inspiration for the song with the same title by Joy Division. Although some of the book covers are atrocities.

I am a Joy Division fan. More lately than in my younger years. Not sure if this is because I now live in UK (this surely gave me a more intimate relation with Marillion) or because I am older. Ian Curtis and company have become a part of my design process, the same way as Marillion, Pink Floyd, Alan Parson, and Fields Of The Nephilim had previously. While some of these bands influence the “inspiration” on a musical + lyrics basis, others do for their own designs and visuals – be it the ones they were supported with or the ones they allow you to create with them. Some of these album covers did influence my style, and some have done so in terms of construction, or in terms of seeking a image that would capture the reader’s attention.  (more…)

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Storm Thorgerson holds a God status among designers, especially album cover ones. It is impossible not to recognize one of his works, be it for Pink Floyd, Genesis, or The Cranberries (which I will feature a bit further down). He had a style and a flair, and he had great clients. Some say the secret for his & and Hipgnosis success were the clients rather than the art. All we know, is that he is responsible for the cover of the The Dark Side of the Moon, an album that remained in the Billboard album chart for 741 weeks and it is undoubtedly one of the best albums ever. However, it is not about Dark Side that I want to talk today – it is about his landscapes. Like the one above, done for the cover of A Momentary Lapse of Reason. (more…)

War (What Is It Good For?)

A couple of days ago I went for a pipe with a fellow pipe smoker and while in the tube I had a look around to see what people were reading. As these last 3 months I ended up not leaving my neighborhood that much, apart from away matches, practices and the odd exhibition, I was a bit curious and thinking I might bring one of those books to this blog, have a comment on the cover, etc.

But there was not much reading going on, apart from newspapers and kindles – maybe it was the first time that I’ve seen the tube so stripped of reading. Well, it was not even crowded. However I did spot this one in the return trip:

Sorry, no bigger size than this.

Which is the new cover, as these ones were the previous (not sure if the same publisher but not really important): (more…)

Dealing with a “you´re not quite there”, part I – when you can take it but…

Recently I received a nice commission from a new client. Again, a US publisher. Got a good brief and loads of instructions and happily I started looking for images and ideas (to be extended in a future post).

I had plenty of time to design this and so I let myself experiment with some concepts. And this was my mistake. Concepts. (more…)

First post. Always small and confused

Right.

I created this hopefully unpretentious blog to write about the process of creating book covers. My English might not be always Cambridge standard, however I hope my ideas and thoughts may flow anyway.

In my many years of experience I had the chance to work with very different publishers, from vanity publishing to crime and fiction, photography, etc, and this is the experience I wish to talk about and reflect – perhaps even help someone who is starting in this terrible, soul-destroying industry.

As I dont consider myself the best in terms of introductions, I will move quickly to my first real post.

Thanks for visiting.