Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test


by Tom Wolfe // Picador

Hand-lettering & Illustration by Phil Pascuzzo. Based on a visual developed by Laura Hanifin


Hand-lettering by Phil Pascuzzo

This book was about the rustic/Grateful Dead proto-Psychedelia movement and I didn't want to evoke the urban and developed Haight-Ashbury Psychedelia look or the Peter Max / Milton Glaser take on the '60s. This cover was inspired by the original 1965 Muir Beach Acid Test poster created by Norman Hartweg that was later hand-colored by Ken Kesey's daughter, Sunshine Kesey:

But this design was considered too hippie-dippie, crunchy-granola and a cleaner, more psychedelic redesign was requested.

My new idea was to focus on the Merry Prankster Bus, "Further," render it as a black and white pen and ink drawing ala The Beatles' REVOLVER album cover and project a psychedelic multi-color lava lamp effect over it.

Laura Hanifin's photographic interpretation of this was a toy bus painted white and dripping with colored paint.

Photograph by Laura Hanifin

Tom loved the idea but didn't want a photograph of a generic bus. He asked if we could instead, have an illustration of the actual Merry Prankster bus FURTHER and brighter. Ugh! This has to go to the printers yesterday.

So in a rare and unusual move, I took Laura's interpretation and put it back in Phil Pascuzzo's hand and he re-illustrated her approach using a photograph of the "FURTHUR" bus as reference which became the final cover.

Whew, approved. Just made the printer's deadline.
The final will be separated as 4/C process but with the cyan, magenta, and yellow inks replaced with their fluorescent equivalents for a brighter psychedelic look. Hopefully.

Big thanks to Laura and Phil-Dog for putting their egos aside, getting the job done and saving my ass.

TIME Interviews Tom Wolfe

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Violence: BIG IDEAS // small books

by Slavoj Žižek
BIG IDEAS // small books / A Picador Paperback Original

Photograph by Jon Shireman

Philosopher, cultural critic, and agent provocateur Slavoj Žižek, constructs a fascinating new framework to look at the forces of violence in our world.

Using history, philosophy, books, movies, Lacanian psychiatry, and jokes, Slavoj Žižek examines the ways we perceive and misperceive violence. Drawing from his completely unique cultural vision, Žižek brings new light to the Paris riots of 2005; he questions the permissiveness of violence in philanthropy; in daring terms, he reflects on the powerful image and determination of contemporary terrorists.

From TimeOut Chicago book review // Issue 183 : Aug 28–Sep 3, 2008:
"Picador has more of these books lined up, and we hope they continue to be both as engaging and relevant as these two first salvos. And we hope they keep designer Henry Sene Yee churning out the tiny, beautiful packages." —Jonathan Messinger

Authors@Google Presents Slavoj Žižek // September 12, 2008

Slavoj Žižek - A debate with Steven Lukes // Barnes & Noble Union Square, NYC

Moral Relativism: BIG IDEAS // small books

by Steven Lukes
BIG IDEAS // small books / A Picador Paperback Original

Photograph by Jon Shireman

Moral relativism attracts and repels. What is defensible in it and what is to be rejected? Do we as human beings have no shared standards by which we can understand one another? Can we abstain from judging one another's practices? Do we truly have divergent views about what constitutes good and evil, virtue and vice, harm and welfare, dignity and humiliation, or is there some underlying commonality that trumps it all?

Slavoj Žižek - A debate with Steven Lukes // Barnes & Noble Union Square, NYC