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Designer: Emma J. Wallace
Publisher: Orion Publishing Group
Typefaces: American Typewriter
This is one of those projects that I wish I could put in my portfolio. The Future Classics series really appeals to the basic geek in me, as well as the design geek in me. Sci-Fi, no type, and a budget for specialty printing, what more could you want. The stars must have been aligned. I want to thank Emma J. Wallace for talking about the project and her process.
My brief for this series of covers was incredibly exciting. I was asked to repackage 8 of Orion's current Sci Fi titles written by some of the biggest names on their list, with the intention of creating a package that would promote the Sci Fi genre to a new younger audience. To do this I had to think of something totally original and unique, something that would make the books stand out from the current Sci Fi brand.
The brief was every designers dream due to the fact that there was no tight brief, the instruction being to basically 'do what you want'! I wanted minimalism to be key to all of the covers so I started with a completely clean slate. Primarily, I thought about specials and illustrative techniques as I wanted each cover to stand alone as a unique piece of art as well as working well in conjunction with the rest of the series.
From each separate synopsis I pulled out one very simple element that could be applied to the cover directly as an illustrative graphic. Most of these elements were obvious and literal depictions of the stories, ie, the monkey on the cover of Evolution and the close-up section of a fairy wing on Fairyland. Instantly I found that each illustration leant itself to a beautiful printing technique, ie, flocking for Evolution and holographic foil/pearlised paper for Fairyland. A minimal illustration with a beautiful finish was exactly what I was after. I became very aware of ruining and cluttering these pieces of art with the addition of an author name and title, so I began researching alternative ways of sticking or attaching the author name and title to the covers. Stickers, or belly bands that could be discarded after purchase, or wrappers that could be taken off and removed were all options, anything that would eventually leave you with a simple, classic and beautiful cover with no typography. Finally, the designs came full circle, and with the backing and support of the wonderful Sci Fi editorial team I was able to eradicate any typographic elements on the front covers. I was overjoyed when my idea was approved - all type would be printed on the spines and backs only.
Typographically it ended up being a very simple puzzle to solve. I researched very classic fonts that would not take away from the minimal design structure but would do enough to mould the titles tightly together as a series. I wanted to maintain the idea that they were all collector's items that needed labeling. The idea to use American Typewriter arose from the type often found on the descriptive plaques found in old museums. The bold version had enough strength to read out clearly on the spines and back, so a decision was made!
*Comment on this project
3.23.09 // H3NR7 said:WOW! I love these and the variety of looks you created. Great job Emma!
3.23.09 // Jonathan said:I second that. WOW! These are gorgeous.
3.23.09 // Ian Shimkoviak said:These are some seriously big books. I love the monochromatic palettes and use of spot UV.
some are simple, but some are so evolved and involved that you can't rip your eyes off of them. Great work.
Note to self: Must own these some day soon.
3.24.09 // Jason said:Amazing! These are really beautifully designed.
3.24.09 // Arthur said:So I think one of my least favorite typefaces is the one used here, American Typewriter. I don't know why I dislike it so much other than it is used in the wrong place so many times. These covers, however, are the perfect place for it. It looks so good with the design. Great choice!
3.24.09 // C Tobias said:Drool...absolutely gorgeous.