What follows is not necessarily a “Best Of”, but a representative sampling of our good works from 2011. In the design department at Random House Canada, we’re very proud of these. We could show you more good stuff (the shelves groan under the weight), but that would require a separate website. In the meantime, enjoy a taste of our eye candy. (Click any image to enlarge for a better look.)
Facing The Hunter (Doubleday Canada)
Designed and illustrated by Andrew Roberts
David Adams Richards (DAR in design shorthand) gets an original look for his non-fiction. A near-perfect combination of great production values and deftly rendered illustration. The subject matter could have sent this cover in some nasty directions, but understatement and elegance win the day.
Folk (McClelland & Stewart)
Designed by Leah Springate
At the best of times, wrapping a poetry book is a tough nut to crack. The design needs to be evocative, intelligent, subtle and still represent what are often multiple (more often disparate) themes, styles, and metaphors. And all on a non-existent budget. This one succeeds, gracefully. Much like the poetry within.
The White Ballets (Tundra Books)
Designed by Jennifer Lum, illustrated by Rajka Kupesic
If the art and text are the prima ballerinas, then a good designer knows their role is to dance the chorus: enhance the choreography, support those at centre stage, deepen what is already a stellar performance. Herewith a great design allowing the spotlight to fall where it should.
Wingfield’s World (Vintage Canada)
Designed by Kelly Hill, illustrated by Risto Turunen
The challenge: create a fresh look for a veritable publishing icon. Through the years, the various editions and permutations of the Wingfield franchise could fill a library. But none are as charming, eye-catching, and just plain fun as this. A terrific partnership of design, typography, and illustration. And who could resist that dog?
Hope Is Better Than Fear (Knopf Random Canada)
Designed by Terri Nimmo
For our money the perfect cover. From the colour palette to the type choice to the iconic bicycle-built-for-Jack-and-Olivia, everything works; everything respects the man and his legacy. What could have been maudlin, garish, or at worst opportunistic comes off as eloquent tribute. The ultimate irony? It’s not a printed cover at all. It’s an e-book.