As the publishing date of Drawn In slowly creeps closer I wanted to share some of the process of making the book like I had for The Exquisite Book (which by the way I just found out was featured in Harper’s Bazaar UK last month!). When we first started this book (and I say “we” because my ALSO partners Jenny and Matt are hugely involved in every single one of my projects) the idea was to have it be super clean with great photography. We wanted the sketchbooks on white, like this blog so they would stand out with no distractions. We also felt like all the sketchbooks needed to be photographed the same way, which meant artists couldn’t just send in their own photos, they had to send their sketchbooks to be photographed. We liked the idea of matching the gutters of the sketchbooks with the gutter of the actual book. Here’s a sample spread where Jen Corace’s sketchbook’s gutter aligns with the book’s:
Matt flew here from Chicago to set up a makeshift photo studio in my apartment. We rented fancy equipment: a camera that could take super big high resolution images, a tripod, light meter and a series of lights. Matt got a long lesson from the talented photographer Kipling Swehla before we started. After setting it all up, we basically had no living room for four days. My poor husband was very nice to put up with ducking every time he had to walk through. We had over 100 sketchbooks from artists from around the world. They had been shipped to me via Fed Ex. My Fed Ex guy knows me very well now. I am extremely thankful for the artists for having the courage to ship these precious books overseas and to Fed Ex for not losing any of them!
Aside from shooting the interiors of the sketchbooks, we wanted to shoot some ideas for the cover. Our idea was to show the exteriors of the sketchbooks since we were weren’t showing any of the those inside the book. We set up a series of different piles, stacks, and configurations with the books. After we shot these Jenny worked on creating a series of cover designs using those photos and some handdrawn type I made. Here are some of those designs:
Initially I was really excited about these designs. I couldn’t even decide which one I liked the best. But after a couple days of looking at them I felt like something was missing, they didn’t feel handmade enough. Since the book was about sketches, these seemed too clean somehow. Jenny was slightly frustrated with my change of heart but we decided to work on another set that were all about feeling tactile. Here are those designs:
I felt like this cover was simple and beautiful. I pushed for it. But ultimately we all felt that it didn’t convey what the book was about.
We revisited all of the designs again and went back to the original set on suggestion of my editor Mary Ann. We took our favorite of the bunch and added more handwritten lettering and somehow it came together better:
As a cover wrap I’m really happy with it. I love how the books continue to the back.
What do you think? Which cover would you have picked?
As requested by so many of you, here is the full list of artists in the book:
You can now pre-order the book right here
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© Julia Rothman 2007