Two new titles from Airlie Press in Portland Oregon were released in October 2016. I was delighted to be the designer for the covers and interiors of both books, Tim Whitsel's Wish Meal and Anatola Molotkov's The Catalog of Broken Things.
This gallery shows the evolution of the cover for Tim Whitsel's latest book of poetry. Whitsel is a gifted poet, and was fantastic to work with: open to big ideas, sure of his impressions, always articulate, and full of wit.
Thank you Airlie Press and Tim Whitsel for this inspiring project!
Visit his website: timwhitsel.com [also designed by Glib.]
After studying the manuscript, keeping notes on my impressions, I began with the depth of landscape found throughout the poetry.
There is also a devotional thread that runs through the poems, hence the cathedral sky collage shown here.
Whitsel is an avid fly fisherman, passionate about western rivers. Here I showed a perfectly abstract backwater for an organic background.
The title was not decided at this point, so I was able to approach the layout from several directions. I always aim for an abundant exploration of ideas.
Gorgeous movement in this high-resolution photograph of a stream in Iceland.
Round II: I began to present typography options. The author's reaction was swift and decisive.
There was no interest in the rustic western atmosphere here.
These wonderful vintage tied flies also got the thumbs-down, despite the colors and textures being agreeable.
This font, Arkhip, resonated and was approved for the interior titles as well as the cover.
Round III: The title had been decided. Whitsel liked the skies, but always returned to water images, the "silver shoelace" that weaves the manuscript together. I love the light in this photograph, and the tiny moon at the top. The vanishing road risked cliche however.
The figure standing on the dock is a fraction of a much bigger image. It was enlarged until it formed just an abstract line at the spine of the book. It is enough to immediately convey the presence of the figure without being too literal.
This final version, with its dissolving type, has the perspective of a reverent witness to forces greater than ourselves.
My gratitude to Tim Whitsel and Airlie Press for this inspiring project!