New books, new look



After our 18th title, next summer’s The Matiushin Case by Oleg Pavlov and Andrew Bromfield, our series design is changing:

Nowhere People front cover _ RGB     By Night the M B front cover RGB    Signs Preceding front cover _ RGB    The Alphabet of Birds

Why the change? We love Joseph Harries’ design (for our first 18 titles’ first editions). He created a distinctive, nearly abstract look where each cover still related obliquely to the book. He made stamps for each book’s title by hand and put colours together in striking ways – look at the orange and deep purple on next March’s A Map of Tulsa by Benjamin Lytal and the proofreader’s restless marks on The Restless Supermarket. Gorgeous:

The Restless Supermarket and A Map of Tulsa delivered

But experience showed that our covers, because they were a fairly tight series look, gave browsers little to go on when choosing their next book. So with Joseph Harries’ blessing, we’ve embarked on the search for a new design and found it. (Don’t read too much into the black and white for the series – it’s just co-incidence that two of the first books’ covers are black and white. Most won’t be.)

Hannah Naughton, 22, and a student at Nottingham Trent University, was selected from a really strong bunch of young designers. (Some of whom we discovered via the MacLehose Press Design Competition – you can see all the shortlisted entries here.) As she explains:

“My brief for And Other Stories was to design a new series look. It needed to be looser than the original look, allowing more individual character. They wanted the feel to be more adventurous, contemporary and playful to reflect the ethos of the publishing house.

After reading the books, I started the process by creating illustrations for the cover. I wanted each book to have a very different illustration style to reflect the feel of each book; hence the use of photography, paint and other mediums on each book. To create the look, I designed a circle with bold, sans serif type, which I feel looks contemporary. I really enjoyed this brief, as I love playing with different illustrative styles to find a look that really reflects the story. I especially loved reading Readman’s Don’t Try This at Home and Herrera’s Signs Preceding the End of the World.”

And we love what she has come up with – full of energy and beauty. She’s an extraordinary talent and we are delighted to be the first publishing house to use her covers on publications.

Each cover has its own character, but they are also the start of a new series look for us. Just as readers look out for the distinctive NYRB Classic covers in a bookshop (that rectangular box of title and author, which will remind some readers of Faber & Faber’s 1980s covers with their own box), we hope readers will soon be looking out for our circle containing our logo and the book’s title.

And because we have a new look, we took the opportunity to also made another change to our covers: where applicable, we’ve added the translator’s name under the author’s name, because its the translator’s words we read. Of course it’s the designer’s design we see. The designer and all contributors will continue to be named on the last page of each book.

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