Creating covers for the twelve Picador paperback reissues was a really exciting process and the design team rose to the challenge with gusto. So, our cover design meeting back in June 2011 saw a meeting table littered with hundreds of ideas, from ‘big pants’-inspired designs for Bridget Jones’s Diary to gift-wrapped editions and paper-cut artwork.
Our aim was to get a stylish, sophisticated series style with a nod to Picador’s history. Cue Neil Lang, Senior Designer for Picador, explaining the thought behind his designs, and the covers that eventually made it to production:
The Picador 40th design started before all the titles were confirmed, which, while not an ideal way of working, enabled me to concentrate on creating a series style.
I tried many different approaches, using typography only to convey the subject, a template into which different illustrations could fit, very simple shapes and flat colours, all of which evolved into the more detailed black and white series. Some titles would obviously benefit from being less graphic and so I commissioned Rob Hunter to work alongside me on those.
Originally the series started with a more rigid feel, using the same typography and positioning on all, but by using the black and white to unite them it meant that a typeface could be chosen to suit each title. And of course, I couldn’t resist a nod to the classic white spine, which always looked great on a bookshelf.
Every cover is different and I think works individually, capturing something unique in the book, but when seen together they work as a set, although I’m sure everyone will have a favourite, myself included!Let us know what you think on Twitter: #picador40