Wardrobe based on book cover design

What's cooler than that? Maybe that her name is Lorena Cupcake?



For the fine folks at TCG (Theater Communications Group). Two plays in one volume by Irish born playwright, Enda Walsh

First round played on the "flip the book over" idea a bit too much:

The New Electric Ballroom coming to St. Ann's in October.



Totally Wired

A couple of recent illustrations for Wired magazine.

For an article about the battle between a group of anarchic pranksters and the Church of Scientology:

For an article about the growing online "t-shirt economy":


Bernie Fuchs

Great illustrator. Part of Mad Men's DNA.


Catholic Boy

Jim Carroll died of a heart attack this past weekend. A poet and minor rock figure, he was mostly known for his song "People Who Died" and for his book "The Basketball Diaries", which was later turned into a Leonardo DiCaprio movie. His album "Catholic Boy" is pretty damned excellent.

I still have this copy of "The Basketball Diaries", which was passed around my high school class and somehow, miraculously, made it back to me. Perfect adventure reading for the suburban 17-year-old male: plenty of basketball, illicit sex, and heroin addiction as streetwise kids run amok in NYC. It was far more compelling than the required reading at the time. "Tess of the d"Urbervilles" anyone?

While the cover design is nothing amazing, I suppose it could be lauded for its design restraint, which is not something one usually associates with the mass market format. There's even a block of unused white space running down the side. The type is stacked in that left/right/middle rag that you see on jazz albums. And Jim looks pretty cool in the photo—dressed all in black, dirty white Adidas, and a haircut one could probably have duplicated on Astor Place. Best thing about the cover? Its still attached to the book. 


Sneak Peek

We are in the middle of a huge Nabokov series redesign. Tying into Nabokov's love of lepidoptery, I asked twenty different designers to design specimen boxes for the twenty different books. The only restrictions were that one had to use paper and pins to illustrate the title. The boxes are then photographed by Alison Gootee. Since Playboy is already running a piece on these, I thought I'd offer a quick look. These first four are coming out very soon. The rest will follow in the coming months, hopefully dovetailing with the Knopf publication of Nabokov's final manuscript, "Laura", in November. Clockwise from upper left: Stephen Doyle, Yentus and Booher, Carin Goldberg, and Michael Bierut.

Coming soon: Dave Eggers, Chip Kidd, Marian Bantjes, Sam Potts, and, of course, many others.

Much more to report on these in the coming weeks.


Aristotle vs. Kant

Although I am really (really!) happy with how this cover turned out:

at the time, I was totally (totally!) convinced that this was the way to go:

Author nixed. Was it so wrong?
Top: photographed by Simon Lee


Cover Approved

In fine company too: Levar Burton, Jeremy Piven's sushi, and Baader Meinhof chic. Now if I can just do something about the cover that's about to be killed by Costco...


Fancy Book Learnin'

The book cover design class I teach at SVA starts tonight. Here are a few projects from some of last semester's students.

Lorrie Moore series by Andy Schoonmaker

Frankenstein by Andrew Schaff

J.D. Salinger series by Cara Possemato

Lorrie Moore cover by Megan McLaughlin

The Scarlet Letter by Rebecca Malley

Hire them!

Not that the world needs another book cover related blog...

Until I am able to find that free month or two to focus on the details of my website, I thought I’d start posting some things onto this blog. I’ll be posting some of my projects, work by colleagues, some student stuff, and lots of other sundry items. We’ll see if I can maintain the pace...


In the leadoff spot:


I asked Peter Buchanan-Smith to redesign our Raymond Carver backlist. He came up with the brilliant idea of using Todd Hido’s photographs on the covers. The first four are just coming out and they are gorgeous and perfect. Peter interviews Todd over at The Sun and Anchor blog: