• Books
  • AST
  • Light Worlds   The Invisible Maiden   Girl in Bloom   Felt Age   Kys  

    The making of the cover design for The Invisible Maiden by Tatyana Tolstaya

    Overview   Process  

    The illustrator reads the book and draws the first sketches.

    The art director chooses the first one and asks to redraw it keeping in mind the text overlay.

    Making corrections.

    Art director: OK.

    Showing to the client.

    Client: We like it. It conveys the idea of the title novel well and matches the style of the cover of Light Worlds.

    The author also approves the sketch. Starting to work on the final version of the drawing.

    Making the details out of paper, photographing and assembling together.

    The art director asks to replace the cheese with cookies.

    Working on the back side.

    Giving the title of the book to the calligrapher who immediately starts to work and chooses the curliest sketches, since the book is about a maiden.

    Typesetting the front side and the spine and showing to the client.

    Client: The typeface of the title is way too curly, to the point of being entirely unreadable on the spine. It’s also important for sales to use the same type for all books in a series.

    Showing a new variant to the art director.

    Art director: I don’t like the я here.

    Calligrapher: What if we make it shorter?

    Art director: No, I don’t like the entire look of it. Also, the gap between the а and the я is too bright. Bring up the stem in the Н, get rid of the mannered wave in the crossbar and watch for the inclination in в and д.

    The calligrapher creates a new version of the title, goes to the type designer for advice, adjusts overlaps, axes, ovals and ascenders. And goes to the art director again in the morning.

    Art director: The loops of the letters д need to be on top.

    Meanwhile the illustration for the back side is ready. It turns out, there isn’t enough space there for the text. Sending the corrections to the illustrator.

    The illustration is done, continuing to work on the calligraphy for the title.

    The calligrapher takes a blank sheet of paper, writes all over it, scans and makes adjustments. Then proceeds to show the title to the type designer, who immediately approves. The he shows it to the typesetter—the typesetter likes it. Finally, holding his breath, he goes to the art director—OK. OK! O-O-OK!!!

    The final version is ready, typesetting the cover, getting the client’s approval and sending to the press.

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