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)