Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

by Dinaw Mengetsu
Art Director: Charles Bjorklund // Riverhead Books // Penguin

Alternate design:

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Blind Side

by Michael Lewis

Art Director: Ingsu Liu // W. W. Norton & Co.

• The New York Book Show 2008 Award winner

Rejected ideas:

Here's a New York Times Magazine article about the left tackle phenom Michael Oher.

Authors@Google Presents Michael Lewis // September 11, 2007

Monday, June 11, 2007

The World Is Flat 3.0: final

by Thomas L. Friedman // Picador

Cover illustration by Christoph Niemann

Not an easy project. With over 8 million copies sold of the very familiar hardcover, originally designed by Dean Nicastro, the author wanted a complete redesign for the paperback. His thoughts was that every business man already owned this book. He wanted to reach out to the NASCAR dads and soccer moms whose lives are also being effected by a flattening world through their jobs being outsourced. We tried different approaches, but this was the one that he approved with one word, "Bingo."

Detail of art:

The World Is Flat Final? Not so much.

Single line drawings by Phil Pascuzzo:

The Book Is Flat: a wraparound design that makes sense when the book is opened. The act of reading the book becomes the manifestation of the text.

The World Is Flat 3.0: round 1

Rejected concept

Friday, June 08, 2007

The Paris Review Interviews: vol. 2 // reject

Hand-lettering by Joel Holland

The idea for this 3-4 volume series was to keep the large quotation mark layout but visualize them in different ways. Some ideas I had floating around for the next volumes were helium balloons made into the shape of quotations marks with the type written on them with magic marker and shot floating against a blue sky. Another was to take some actual paperback books and cut them with a band saw into the quote shapes and use a black neutral gray palette.
But the Paris Review loved the first volume which was done purely typographic with bright fluorescent yellow and black. They just want me to switch it out with other bright colors. Which will still look great. Now I need to find some bright yet unusual color combos.
And I need to tell the awesome Mr. Holland that this idea was killed. But he's on vacation now. I think. Maybe he'll read this. Hey Joel, send me a kill fee.

The Paris Review Interviews: vol. 1

introduction by Philip Gourevitch // The Paris Review / Picador

• A PRINT's Regional Design Annual Selection

• The New York Book Show 2008 Award winner // Paperback Series

A selection of interviews with writers from The Paris Review that answers the question, "How do great writers do it?" One of my favorite is Joan Didion's account of how she composes a book—"I constantly retype my own sentences. Every day I go back to page one and just retype what I have. It gets me into a rhythm." That's exactly how I work.

A Taxonomy of Barnacles

by Galt Niederhoffer // St. Martin's Press / Picador

• An AIGA's 50 Books // 50 Covers Best Cover Selection
• The New York Book Show 2008 Award winner

Illustration of finch bird by Pete Garceau
Illustration of sisters by Pierre Mornet // Marlena Agency

A Taxonomy of Barnacles is a modern Victorian comedy of manners—a wealthy, eccentric patriarch declares that his six daughters must compete for his fortune—and a study in social Darwinism—whoever can best carry on the Barnacle name gets the Barnacle fortune. Much of the book is devoted to the amorous to­ings and fro­ings of the two eldest Barnacle sisters and the cute Finch twins next door. It’s Balthus girls meets Charles Darwin meets The Royal Tenenbaums.

A New York Times interview with the author and her family that was the inspiration for the book.

The Man Who Wanted Everything: Michael Ovitz and the Dark Dreams of Hollywood

by Nikki Finke

• A Type Directors Club Award Winner

Art Director: Anne Twomey // Warner Books Twelve

Art Director Anne Twomey hired me to design this cover for her new imprint TWELVE, for Time Warner, which has since then been renamed Grand Central Publishers. Her only direction to me for this biography of super talent agent to the stars Michael Ovitz was, "Make this say Hollywood and make it look like a Type Directors' Club award winner."
So I came up with the idea that his bigger than life persona is like a movie up on the screen and we are just spectators, but sitting in the worst seat in the theater. Front row and far left. I chose to depict it as end credits since this book was a retrospective and printed on silverish pearlized stock. I had more extreme angles and the back of a person's head blocking some of the type, but legibilty suffered.
Unfortunately the book was cancelled and so far, no plans to be published anytime soon. But that didn't stop Anne from entering the sales proof to the Type Directors' Club competition.
I received an email; "Your entry in TDC53 has been selected by the judges to receive the "Certificate of Typographic Excellence". To be included in the Annual of the Type Directors Club, Typography 28, and to be shown at the 53rd Awards Exhibition in New York."
Nice. It’s been a long while since I designed something type specific that I thought was good enough for TDC.
It's too bad the book won’t have a shelf life out in the public, but at least it's here.