Monday, March 26, 2012

Creator: W.A. Dwiggins


W.A. Dwiggins exhibition keepsake
International Typeface Corporation
Gallery in New York City, 1986

Monday, March 19, 2012

Under Cover: Robot Visions

In the fall of 1989, Byron Preiss began work on another Isaac Asimov collection called Robot Visions, which was to be published by Roc. Once again he commissioned Ralph McQuarrie to handle the cover and interior art. I believe Maxfield Parrish’s Stars was used as reference. I designed the volume. After seeing the cover art I began work on choosing a typeface, whose name I don’t recall. I made a photostat (below) of the type and spaced the letters on both sides of the centered “A” and “V”. The crossbar of the “A” was made parallel to the blue ray beaming from the robot’s eye. A color comp was made of the cover with the type in place (see black-and-white photocopy).

The cover comp was sent to the publisher for approval. In early November, newspaper ads appeared for Disney’s new animated movie The Little Mermaid (see poster below). The image appeared to be based on Parrish’s Stars. I used elements from the ad and made Mermaid Visions (see black-and-white photocopy) which circulated among the editors in Byron’s office.

The publisher informed Byron that it wanted a bolder treatment for the title and the changes would be handled in-house. The book was published in April 1990 (below). I didn’t like the title typeface with the thick blue rule running behind the title and the thin blue rule dividing the letters, nor did I like the boxes around the name and title. Too busy. And I wasn’t pleased with the cover design credit, attributed to me, printed on the copyright page.

My original type treatment as it appeared on title page spread.

The British edition was published by Gollancz in 1990.

(Next post on Monday: W.A. Dwiggins)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Typography: Lin-sanity

My belated contributions to Lin-sanity.

An interview with Penny Speckter,
wife of the late Martin K. Speckter
creator of the interrobang.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Under Cover: Robot Dreams

The late Byron Preiss produced a series for Berkley Books called the Masterworks of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Robot Dreams (1986) was one of the five titles. He commissioned the late Ralph McQuarrie to illustrate the cover and interior art. I'm not sure whose idea it was to use Frederick Leighton's Flaming June as reference. A copy of Ralph's cover sketch (below) was photocopied on a Byron Preiss Visual Publications letterhead.

I designed the cover and book. Below are some preliminary designs for the title and author's name.

The font on the cover was Handel Gothic Light. The illustration suggested a "quiet" look for the title and author's name. Other editions of the book used bold fonts. Ralph's artwork was recognized and published inCommunication Arts Illustration Annual 1987, and a Society of Illustrators annual.

Below are pages from the interior: title page; four illustrations used on the story title pages; and the story illustrations.

There was a hardcover, limited and signed edition of the book. Byron gave me a photocopy of the robot from the first edition of I, Robot. He wanted it on the cover and suggested a repeating pattern. The photocopy was unusable, so I enlarged it and used amberlith to create the final art. Several photostats were made of the robot to make the pattern.

(Next post on Wednesday: Typography: Lin-sanity)