Book Design for Phenix Books

Just finished a book design (interior and cover) for a Phenix Books publication by Catherine Miller. The author wrote an auto/biography about her relationship with her autistic brother. She wanted to have photographs of her brother on the cover. After initially working with grayscale images I decided to colorize several of the photographs. In consultation with the author we also went initially overboard with the number of images, then pulled back and ended up using only three images.

idea – design – build

Here’s an example of my idea – design – build process: over the years the existing concrete steps to our Maison de la Musique at 922 5th Street in Ames, Iowa were leaning badly and had sheared off from the handrail piece, so we had the stair removed by Ames Excation and Trenching. The we bounced some ideas around about how to replace the now absent stairs with a new wooden structure made of cedar. Below are the design sketches and some construction photographs. Still missing is the wrap-around bench/handrail on the north and west sides.

 

Final Cover Design for Transatlantic Trio Book

Here’s the final design for Richard Brantley’s forthcoming book Transatlantic Trio – Empiricism, Evangelicalism, Romanticism: Essays and Reviews 1074-2017, to be published by Culicidae Press in early 2017.

Initially we used the image of a weaving shuttle (which we may still use for the hardback version) to connect the interweaving and textual approach of Brantley’s writing, but after conferring with the author he thought that something moving forward rather than only going back and forth might be more appropriate. After discussing some ideas about seesaws—which of course only go up and down rather than forward—and yo-yos (again, only up-and-down motion), I suggested a railroad handcar. These now outmoded but once quite popular conveyances are propelled forward by an up-and-down motion of their seesaw handle bars, and they work most efficiently when worked by at least two people, something that fit the author’s both/and approach in the book.

Rather than use an empty handcar we opted for one that holds all the characters Brantley writes about in Transatlantic Trio. Below is an image of the cover page with the names identifying the other authors. From left to right they are Locke, Wesley, Edwards, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Dickinson, Shelley, Byron, Carlyle, Tennyson, and Emerson.

The source for the character’s bodies comes from old photographs showing railroad crew on handcars, and the writers’ heads were collaged on top of the workers’ bodies. The handcar itself, a Sheffield No. 1 comes from page 5 of the Sheffield Hand Cars-Push Cars Bulletin 105F from 1917, printed by Fairbanks, Morse & Co.

Stay tuned for an update of the hardback version;–)

 

New Cover Design Drafts for Transatlantic Trio Book

 

Handcar Cover Draft 1

Here are a few new cover designs for Richard Brantley’s forthcoming book Transatlantic Trio (Culicidae Press). The designs are based on railroad handcars that were used during the nineteenth- and early twentieth century to shuttle railroad workers between their worksite and their home base. Early handcars used a manually operated oscillating arm connected to an eccentric drive to propel the device. That’s why the image of a handcar seems more appropriate than the shuttle (although I may change my mind later on) since the handlebars not only move up and down on both sides but the whole car moves forward (or backward, as the case may be). Rather than have the handcar as an empty platform I decided to add some of the characters from Brantley’s book by pasting their faces on a number of railroad workers I found on images at railroadhandcar.com

Handcar Cover Draft 2

Casual Outfit And Vintage Bicycle

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The Best Hairstyle Ideas

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A Calm Comes Over The Lake This Month

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My Obsession Over These Shoes

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Letting The Fog Come Into The Room

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