The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Charlotte Strick | The Atlantic


Charlotte Strick, art director at Faber & Faber, Farrar, Straus and Giroux and The Paris Review, writes about the book design process for The Atlantic:

Even though I frequently have designs for titles from the previous season still on my plate, and just when I think I can’t possibly come up with another original idea for a cover, the creative sparks begin to fly. At the launch meetings, editors take turns presenting recent acquisitions… As the books are introduced, each of us begins to wonder: Will I solve the problem with illustration or photography? If the title is brilliant and descriptive, maybe an all-type treatment that’s bold and clever is the best solution. (These are always my favorites.) Is there even any budget for art after the copy-editing fees, production costs, and author’s advances have been tallied? No? Never mind! We’ll get out our paintbrushes and dust off our cameras and get to work.

She is also interviewed by The Atlantic’s Daniel Fromson:

Everyone has an opinion on whether or not the book publishing world as we know it is doomed. Just as the design of websites was becoming more interesting and thoughtful by the late ’90s, it’s clear that the look and feel of e-books will transform over the next decade. As a designer who makes her living creating covers for actual books, I hope to take part in this. I don’t want our work to be reproduced exclusively in black and white or viewed only at postage stamp size.

(Pictured above: sketches by Chris Silas Neal for the cover of Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses, by Claire Dederer, published by FSG)

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