Thursday, July 31, 2008

Living Autobiographically: How We Create Identity in Narrative

by Paul John Eakin

Art director: Scott Levine // Cornell University Press

Hand-lettering by LeeAnn Falciani

The theme of the author is that (we create a sense of ourselves by the stories we tell) but with a new twist: he argues that narrative is not merely something we invent; it is an essential part of our sense of who we are. In fact, so close is the connection between narrative and identity that we should speak of “narrative identity”—a term he hopes will become part of the life writing lexicon.

I tried to convey these two co-exisiting states visually by using the idea of handwritten drafts/thoughts and typeset published finals overlaying each other. The simplicity of this solution reminded me of The Catcher in the Rye, from which I borrowed the color palette. Sorry J.D., But you didn't like these colors anyway.

My personal copy:

If you really want to hear about it, my beat up copy of The Catcher in the Rye is one of my favorite books. And this plain, all Times Roman typeface, solid Maroon and Yellow type paperback is one of my favorite cover designs. A perfect marriage of content, form and memories. The cover demands that you fill in the rest yourself. Compared to the simplicity of this, all other designs are just plain phony.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Forgotten Patriots

by Edwin G. Burrows

Art Director: Nicole Caputo // Basic Books

Jacket painting:
The Nation Makers, 1903 (oil on canvas) by Howard Pyle (1853-1911) © American Illustrators Gallery, NYC / The Bridgeman Art Library

Listen to this audio clip to learn more about Howard Pyle and the background story of the painting.

Alternate idea: