Friday, February 08, 2008

Fixing Failed States

by Ashraf Ghani and Clare Lockhart // Oxford University Press

Ashraf Ghani, who played a central role in the design and implementation of the post-Taliban settlement in Afghanistan, has been nominated for the job of Secretary General of the United Nations and considered for the job of President of the World Bank. 'In Fixing Failed States,' Ghani, along with co-author Clare Lockhart (Director of the Institute for State Effectiveness), argues in that only an integrated state-building approach can heal these failing countries.

This job request came to me from an unlikely source. I was hired by the author's agent. I was sensitive to the fact that it can be tricky and awkward when the publishing house's art department is forced to work with an outside designer. Working on this cover was the very definition too many cooks. I worked directly with both authors and a representative at Oxford who I thought was the Art Director but later found out was the Marketing Director. Despite the tight deadlines, and the logistics of who's seen what version and will I be setting the back ad and flaps and who get what when, it went fairly smoothly and on time. But damn, I didn't have enough time to revise the art so that the globe wasn't kissing the "I". But overall, I liked how this turned out very much.

Below is a detail of the revised Fractured Globe "X":

Concepts leading up to final:


Tal said...

I love it. The only little tiny problem I have is that the bottom of the earth is touching the top of the "I". I wish it could totally not touch it.

H3NR7 said...

Hi Tal, Ugh. you’re right.
That “globe” to “I” interaction bugs me too.
The deadline on this job was so rushed. The subtitle was added and elements were moved around up to the last precious minutes that I didn’t fully assess the cover until after I handed in the final mechanical. I’m going to ask the art director at Oxford first thing on Tuesday to see if there’s still time for the printers to update the files. Thanks for noticing the small things. You always have to remind yourself that if it’s bugging you a little now, it’s gonna piss you off to see it on the final. You have to try to make as many corrections as possible. Do your best, then let it go. We’ll see how this turns out.
If anything, at least I’ll update the cover here to reflect the revised Designer’s Cut.

ian said...

Can you show us a detail of that element under the X?

I can't really tell what it is.

ian said...

cover number 5 seemed like a fine choice too, but the final approved idea was definitely the most balanced...