I said at the weekend that I’d recently designed an all-type cover, and here it is. This is my second design for Joe R. Lansdale’s detective duo, and like the earlier Of Mice and Minestrone this one went through more iterations than usual. It’s often the case that the more popular a book is likely to be, the more constraints will be imposed on the cover design. Hap and Leonard are very popular characters so this commission arrived with a number of prerequisites regarding the amount of text, the size of the type and so on. It also required the inclusion of the word “Stories” to emphasise that the book is a story collection rather than a novel. The latter feature is a recent trend in American publishing, one that follows the not-so-recent trend of appending the words “A Novel” to the covers of…novels. As a reader I find these labels to be superfluous and even mildly insulting but as a designer I have to follow the brief, and the brief was to present all of this information in a suitably harmonious manner. Most of the early iterations tried to do this with the addition of some illustrative graphics but the results were persistently unsatisfactory, hence the decision to let the type do the work.
Born for Trouble will be published by Tachyon in March 2022.