The making of the cover design for Felt Age by Tatyana Tolstaya

• Process

The illustrator sends sketches.

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Art director: Number 3 looks interesting.

Illustrator: I’ve worked on it some more, the previous version seemed a bit empty. The top of the hourglass is the Golden Age, the bottom is the Felt Age and everything around it is today (the girl with wheat is the sculpture from the fountain).

The art director approves. Showing the sketch to the author.

The author asks to change the representation of the Soviet era at the bottom of the hourglass: “It’s better without the Kremlin, it evokes other associations. Better have it with newly-built houses, lines and maybe some empty crates.”

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The artist redraws the illustration. In the front is a schoolgirl with a bag and some boxes. At the background is a line to Eliseevsky store.

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Everything is approved, starting to realize the sketch.

Taking photographs of the foreground: the fountain and the bench, then the clock and the background: the forest and the houses. Making separate photos of the subjects from the top and the bottom of the hourglass.

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Sending for retouching. The illustrator combines the layers, matches them, adds glare on the hourglass and shadows.

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Now we just need the title calligraphy. The calligrapher looks at the covers of the previous books in the series, recalls art director’s notes, goes through old drafts, warms up and quickly fills a sheet of paper.

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The chief typesetter suggests to make sure the text matches the illustration better. The calligrapher makes the lines slightly denser, adds some new strokes and sends the result to the art director.

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Art director: Both letters В are poor and make reading difficult.

The calligrapher removes the strokes, makes the lowercase в straighter and replaces the uppercase В together with all the letters о.

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Art director: OK.

To the press.

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