Salgood Sam ● Com

Illustrator, Cartoonist & Writer
Posts Tagged ‘design’

Creative book binding

Very soon i’ll be announcing
a kickstarter campaign for an upcoming project!

3 clever books

One of the fun aspects of it for me will be designing the hand made limited editions of the books, working with a couple of local artisan binders, Soundless Soliloquy and No Bar Code Press.

So far the broad strokes of the packaging are roughed out. Dimensions page count and cover materials. But I still have a lot of the details to handle.

I also have to come up with the packaging of Dream Life backers of my indiegogo campaign will get to very soon. That one is a trade paperback but I want to make it something visually fun and special. Pretty much have it done in my head but there are always things that come up in execution.

All this came to mind when some friends posted the following set of playful book designs on FB.

More about packaging than binding mind you, they are each a kind of absurdist literal take on the stories they wrap. The oldest is a very rare asbestos bound first edition of Stephen King’s Firestarter. Published by Phantasia Press in 1980 it originally sold for $300 each. 25 of 26 copies exist, with one ironically being lost in a fire. Recently one went on the market for $18,000! It’s quite handsome, and probably safe but still i’d probably keep it bagged just to be sure.

Equally playful and clever is this upcoming edition of 1984 from penguin, with a cover design by David Pearson. The title and author’s name are redacted with black foil!

You can still make them out, so the cover is practical as well. Making it function in a commercial context and I suspect will lead browsers even take closer notice in the effort to make out what it says. Not just being an illustration of the subject the story it contains, as a curiosity I think it’s the kind of functional design that scares the money often, but like a whisper entices you to lean in closer for a better look. Congratulations to David for being able to get that one through. It’s the kind of design that you would probably not want on a new book trying to make a mark. But for a classic like 1984, having this version is worth the bragging points probably of getting a new copy.

And the perfect book end to the asbestos bound King book, is this copy of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, with striking paper along its spine and its own match! Kind of asking for it but all the same, witty. From what I can tell this one is just a concept design done by Elizabeth Perez for The Austin Creative Department. But I bet it would sell as a limited run collector’s edition if they took it to market.

All three are fun incarnations of the same kind of design principles. The sort I had planned to apply to the next book. Dracula: son of the dragon.

Thanks to Zack Smith, Vinnie Bartilucci & Hans Curtis for posting these on FB and making me aware of them.

About Design

I don’t get asked to do it as often as i like,
so i’m going to talk about book design a bit now and then…

Don’t get me wrong,
I like both of these.
But still…

Was going to post about Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis on my personal Facebook profile this morning, a fascinating and scary recently diagnosed illness. But then noticed this looking up details and thought it a good opportunity to mention something i’ve observed before.

This is a great example of a lack of innovation in book design, and as a designer the value adopting habits to help both your work, and the items you are designing stand out.

So you have two titles, of very similar wording, in this case about two very different things.

One was just released November 13, 2012. One published in 2010. It seems to me a basic best practice would be to research the tittle, and see if something like it exists already, and not repeat any design notes if one does, if you can help it. Make sure one book is distinct from the other with a similar tittle? So, no red band with B&W images for Susannah should have been a no brainer…ahem. Sorry.

I suspect that didn’t happen here. Not identical of course, but so close. A bit too close branding wise and so easy to avoid with a simple google search on the part of whomever was putting the packaging together for Susannah Cahalan’s book.

Given the older book also owns the URL one would likely look up for promoting Susannah’s new book, it’s hard to imagine you would not have seen this coming either, as a publisher or author or someone on the decision making chain. So I have to wonder if it was a case of just not caring. Or maybe they did, and decided to try to get a lift from people looking for a popular self help book? I don’t know but it gives me an excuse to mention; you get a commission to do a cover? Search the title and subject and be aware of what has gone before.

Something to think about the next time you’re asked to work on a job.   

Ok, with that, i did just listen to Susannah talk about her ordeal, and it’s fascinating stuff, possibly the origins of many cases believed to have been possession in the past. Listen to her talk about it here and try not to get paranoid the next time your hand feels numb.

Just because a thing has not been explained, does not mean it never will be. As a skeptic that was one of the things I came away thinking about after listening to this. A newly named disease humans have probably suffered from since there were humans, and before most likely. Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. In the past too many were probably diagnosed as mad, or possessed. 80+% of known cases have been women, and before 2002 no one new about it at all.

Links

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness & Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable, Word of Mouth Movements

http://www.brainsonfirebook.com/ – http://www.susannahcahalan.com/

And last, I like design so much,
I publish my own comic to get an excuse to do it.
Ok, maybe an exaggeration, might be the comics i’m more hyped about.
But it is one of the perks of putting out my own books…

Dream Life and Sequential

Dream life continues afoot. Or no, it’s in the air. well, whatever, :)

There was a rewarding surge in traffic when the latest page dropped. Need to get the last few dream sequence pages uploaded tonight. I posted a clip of script that was cut out along with page 16 today.

Just completed a total renovation and conversion of Sequential to a word press site. Came out well i think. Lot of new functions possible now, Bryan Dave and I have been throwing round a lot of ideas. Need to catch up with TCAF things but so far everything seems to be coming together.

Some old animation design work from Fakk2

In ’98 i did a few months on the crew of Fakk2 in preproduction. Just posting a gallery of my old animation work i dug up this stuff, really enjoyed this, not so keen on the film that was made but had a great time doing this work. Thought i’d share a few of them here.
Fakk2-odinsroom-objects
Fakk2-hollylands-arial
Fakk2-odinswagon
Fakkt2-bigpandownofvolcanic

Animation Work done between 1995 and ’00

More of these and work from Eek the cat, Sam and Max, Mangalatina, and Waynehead posted here on Flickr.

We Invented Someone

Dream Life lucky number 13.

Well, i had wanted to be further along with the book than this by now, but a cool 7 page story came across my desk that i could not pass up – it will be in a very very big, high profile book this summer, just had to do it. But just the same, progress on Dream Life, while slowed a bit the last two weeks, has been very gratifying.

This character and the giant woman who appeared in Charlie’s dream just before were inspired by some reading about Pablo Picasso i did a while back, and some of the interpretations of his use of the Minotaur and the Maiden motif in his work.

When John and i first worked on this story together years ago [at the time called ‘Nuts’] he came up with the idea of a ‘blocky thing’ that would torment Charlie at different points though the story, play tricks on him and challenge his assumptions. At the time it was a great but unspecific creature, with no described form. I loved the idea of it, but it was always a shady non specific idea at the time for me.

Later when i dusted off those old bits of story we had worked on together and started re-working it into Dream Life, the blocky thing – while a very cool abstract literary idea, was really hard to give form to as a character for the comic.

I tried a lot of different approaches but none of them ever resonated for me that strongly.

It wasn’t till reading about Picasso’s minotaurs that I worked it out. I forget who it was who wrote the notes that cinched it for me, but their descriptions of what it stood for was exactly dead on for my interpretation of the Blocky Thing.

Cover mock up for Dream Life…