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

    The making of the cover design for Girl in Bloom by Tatyana Tolstaya

    Overview   Process  

    The illustrator reads the book and makes sketches. Since the book is part of a series, there has to be a rectangle in the center of the cover. Starting to think.

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    Out of the three sketches the art director chooses the first one. Showing to the client. The client approves.

    Making an unfolding, a colored draft (per request of the client, all books of the series have to be of different color so as not to blend together on the shelf).

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    Cutting out, constructing, gluing. Making a chandelier, some of the furniture and other details based on photographs of Tatyana Tolsaya’s Saint Petersburg apartment.

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    Getting ready for a photo shoot.

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    The illustrator uses Photoshop to place photographs submitted by the author into the frames on the wall. Inserting the dreamy reflection into the mirror.

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    Showing to the client who approves the illustration. Moving on to calligraphy and typesetting.

    After some warming up, the calligrapher writes the title of the book making the Д more airy and the в and the у more sprawling. He then scans the result, retouches it and gives to the typesetter to try.

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    The typesetter assembles the mock-up.

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    The quote is lengthy and the fine Antiqua typeface dissolves in the wallpaper texture, especially in the darker areas. Deciding to make the lettering slightly larger.

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    Showing the mock-up to the illustrator: should we remove only the frame or the lamp too in order to fit the text in more freely?

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    The illustrator removes the frame and the gilded angel from the wall. Typing the text in a larger point size and placing it nicely in the freed up place. The client says that we need to replace the publishing house logo with a new one, add an age restriction sign and a note about coarse language in the book. The art director asks the calligrapher to smoothen the strokes and loops in the letters. The editor recommends changing hyphenation of certain words.

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    The typesetter takes all the comments into account and shows the mock-up to the art director, “Can we print it?”

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    Art director: No. The girl’s face became silly and too detailed. It needs to be redrawn.

    The illustration goes back to the illustrator for improvement.

    Making the first attempt.

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    The art director does not approve. The facial expression looks too silly and simple. Also, the curls on the temples need to go.

    Thinking some more.

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    Nope. Continuing.

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    Still not there. The illustrator makes sketches to determine the character and expression of the face that the art director wants to see.

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    The art director chooses numbers 4 and 6. Taking the comments into account and finalizing.

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    Making the final decision about the face and clearing up some space for the quote.

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    The mirror tells the truth: our girl is now the fairest of them all. —"Can we print it?" —"OK."

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