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Posts Tagged ‘Ron Hogan’

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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    Battered Books, Tattered Covers: The Photos of Cara Barer and Abelardo Morell

    cover duo.jpg

    Ron Hogan, the sharp-eyed senior editor of Galleycat (our bookish feline of a brother blog), recently noted the nascent trend of book covers sporting photographs of books that have seen better days. The examples he highlighted—The Late Age of Print by Ted Striphas (published in March by Columbia University Press) and Michael Greenberg‘s Beg, Borrow, Steal: A Writer’s Life, out next month from Other Press—both feature photos by Cara Barer. The Houston-based photographer describes her work as “primarily a documentation of a physical evolution” and an attempt to “blur the line between objects, sculpture, and photography.” Two more of Barer’s photos are below (from left to right): “Foam” (2005) and “Eccentric Circles” (2007).

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    (Photos: Cara Barer)

    In more recent work that has an appealing Rorschach floral vibe, Barer picks up where Abelardo Morell left off. Morrell, a professor at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, is known for his pioneering explorations of the beauty of books in stunning black and white photographs collected in the 2002 tome A Book of Books (Bullfinch). Literary types may recall his 2001 photo “Book Damaged by Water” (below, at left) from the cover of a swell 2003 issue of Ploughshares, the literary journal published by Emerson College. On the right is “Book with Wavy Pages,” also from 2001.

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    (Photos: Abelardo Morell)

    In Brief: Of Icebergs and EDARs

    icebergs.jpg⇒ Over at our bookish brother blog, Galleycat, the sharp-eyed Ron Hogan spots two book covers with the same distinctively shadowed iceberg photo. The chilling coincidence? The books were released only weeks apart—by the same publishing house.

    ⇒ What do you get when you cross a shopping cart and a pop-up camper? A mobile shelter known as an EDAR, which stands for Everyone Deserves a Roof and is not to be confused with the similarly named (yet not nearly as agile) government repository for regulatory filings. A feature in today’s Los Angeles Times explores the EDAR and its development as an alternative to cardboard box dwellings. The design was the winner in a contest at the Art Center College of Design sponsored by philanthropist and film producer Peter Samuelson. The slogan of Samuelson’s EDAR Foundation? “Thinking outside the box.”

    Strand Bookstore Continues Tote Bag Innovation

    tomine strand.bmpWe were sure that the iconic Strand tote bag had reached its design apex with the lovely toile de Jouy number we picked up on the way out of the bookstore’s recent Richard Hell and Christopher Wool event, but Ron Hogan of our bookish brother blog, GalleyCat (and a tote bag expert if ever there was one), has the scoop on the newest version. Designed by cartoonist, illustrator, and graphic novelist Adrian Tomine (whose work you probably recognize from his outstanding, moody-hued New Yorker covers), the bag features Tomine’s drawings of “the many faces of Strand customers, and there are different people depicted on each side,” notes the Strand’s website, where the tote sell for a cool $10.95 alongside those featuring illustrations by Art Spiegelman and David Hockney.

    Tomine, a Strand regular, gave Hogan a peek into his process. “I am by nature a people watcher, but in the case of this project, the faces were mostly imagined by me while sitting in my studio,” he wrote in an e-mail. “It’s always a dicey thing trying to draw unsuspecting strangers in public, and I wouldn’t have wanted to cause any commotion in one of my favorite New York book stores.” Hogan reports that the Strand is now at work on bags featuring book covers drawn from a list of the store’s all-time most popular titles. Here’s hoping that Tintin In The Land Of the Soviets makes the cut.