The Art of Daily Cultivation, A Celebration of 365 Story Paintings has gone to print. The book cover design kept me awake at night. So like most would, I went out to my friends and book supporters to vote. I figured this would make everything clear. Guess what? A tie. 50/50. I think it stumped them for the same reasons it stumped me.
Tough decision, the cover of a book, especially a hardback book with a fancy dust jacket can bring radically change the temperament of blood pressure. I thought a post about the design would be worthy thought note.
The project content of paintings and stories was created over a 12 month period with 12 themes in 30 day sets. I wanted the cover to express this somehow. While the circles reveal the image more clearly and in a way is more aesthetically pleasing, the composition was a challenge. You see the space to fill here in a 9 x 11 book is large. I worked on making the title larger and more typographically interesting. I filled the cover with the images at one point. I made the circles into a flower to represent blossoming with the months in the center at another point in the design process. In all examples it ended up looking like a splatter plot. The months not in order. I lined up the months with the images in line and it looked like a totem pole or a multi-directional wine country sign.
In the end, I agreed with viewers that the triangles - though jagged and not as aesthetically pleasing as the circles did convey integration and the sense of building. The mountainous feeling with the months woven through is more accurate than the scatter plot representation.
So, I'm marinating on the final cover. Hopefully, in time, I will grow more affectionate towards it. It's never easy to love a product in the initial stages of shipping. I know this as a product designer over the years. You are simply raw initially -- wrung out and hopeful that everything will go smoothly.
I am thrilled to be here at this stage of development. I can't wait to see the proofs. I will post ordering information in the weeks to come. For now, it's teatime and hot baths.