Every now and then we get a little… bluesy, shall I say, because we don’t get nearly enough books to design. Quite a while ago in one of such moods, we designed and set a whole novel: Tom Robbins’ extravagant Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.
Even though it’s a single copy printed for us so I guess you could call it a unique book, we wanted it to be rather practical and entirely readable. It didn’t have to, however, pander to any publishing standards, and so the cover is only a cream sleeve with a few holes punched through to show the red cover from underneath.
The title appears on the spine and on the title page. We went with our love for Futura and paired it with a more scripty, old-school typeface for all the display purposes but the text is set traditionally, in a serif typeface.
Each new part of the novel starts with a motto that we printed on fold-in pages with black circles suggesting both punch holes and bullet holes.
Obviously the circles on the external side of the part intro align with the ones inside to create a more realistic impression of holes.
And finally, for the climactic shoot-out scene, we did something we wouldn’t be able to do with a novel meant for mass publishing and punched holes in the page:
And frankly, we suggest you read the book if you haven’t already. If its tone doesn’t put you off from the start, you’ll probably enjoy it quite a lot.
This year we didn’t do as many calendars as some years but here’s one we did design (well, at least the cover). It is for a company that specializes in special print effects, such as varnishes, hot stamping etc. and the calendar had to reflect that. When you need to show a few special effects, it’s best not to add an overwhelming design to it. We opted for a simple, classic ornament in a limited color palette: blacks, white and silver with the company’s brand orange.
The calendar comes in a simple envelope of thick paper, which repeats the pattern but without the refining printing techniques. The cover itself, however, has all the frills you could hope for (or, well, some of them). It’s printed on a metalized silver paper, which poses certain challenges in print preparation: you need to print white onto it and black will look different, depending on whether it’s on white or directly on silver (we made use of this, as the pattern uses two blacks). Some elements are left silver. Finally, the whole things is covered with satin coating and the dot elements are spot-coated so that they become raised to touch: the tactile effect is actually quite nice but you have to trust us on that.
Well, call us old-fashioned but designing for print, especially when you can raise the budget with all the special effects, does have a very special appeal for us.
Our Christmas reindeer make a reappearance this week in time for Valentine’s Day to wish you the best day whether you’re sharing it with someone special, someone random or whether you’re just having a special date with yourself.
We got lovely post this week: an author copy of UC.Quarterly, a publication by Under Consideration. To our joy, Dog Days poster appeared on Quipsologies a while ago and then made it to the publication which “features 48 of the most interesting, relevant, and simply fun-to-see projects from across our blogs” (their words, not ours).
The magazine has a pretty charming zine quality, with newspaper-thin paper and rubber binding (except, of course, it’s better designed than most zines) and our poster looks like this:
Here are a few more images, more at the link above, should you be interested.
And here is our third illustration of the Day in Life series, with yet another Victorian character as the hero.
A Day in Life series continues today with its second installment. (Here‘s the first one.)
A while ago we were asked to do something for a magazine and had a free choice of what exactly that something would be. We did a series of three illustrations, playing with famous characters.
We’re showing this one first to celebrate the return of the British show Sherlock (we spent a good part of Christmas time watching the first two seasons).