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Michael Cho Creates Jacket Art for 25th Anniversary Edition of Don DeLillo’s White Noise

whitenoise PC.jpgMichael Cho recently completed what he describes as “a dream assignment”: creating jacket artwork for the Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition of Don DeLillo‘s White Noise, first published by Viking in 1985 with a minimalist white jacket designed by Neil Stuart. “I am a DeLillo fan,” Cho told Ron Hogan of Galleycat, our bookish brother blog, “and White Noise was one of my favorite books when I was a teen….No joke—I was actually reading Libra when I got the call from Penguin.” Cho, a Toronto-based illustrator and cartoonist, was chosen for the assignment by Penguin art director Paul Buckley, who consulted with DeLillo on the decision. “I’m impressed by how bold Michael is,” noted Buckley. “He uses just a few colors and blocks everything off in a deceivingly simple way that screams confidence.”

Cho’s only restrictions in designing a jacket for the postmodern tale of an “airborne toxic event” were to leave room for the Penguin logos and a bar code box. “I’d never experienced that kind of freedom with a book jacket assignment before,” explains Cho on his blog. “Usually, at least marketing factors partially determine how a book jacket will be illustrated, but in this case, I was asked to just follow my muse. Amazing.” And so is the final product—a DeLillo-approved mix of colorful, comics-style panels and pull quotes that would make Jenny Holzer go weak in the knees—which is slated for a late December release. As for the type, Cho decided to turn down Buckley’s offer of hand-lettering. “I felt that White Noise was too ‘cool’ a book for such a ‘hot’ approach as hand-lettered type.”

Previously on UnBeige:

  • Ruben Toledo Covers the Classics
  • Mediabistro Course

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