Case Study: Seasons’ Songs Book Covers
Vargus Pike is a local poet in the Portland writing community who came to me to help him design a cover for his self-published poetry collection, April Song.
Originally he planned to design his own cover, but after getting feedback from friends and other writers/poets, he changed his mind. We met and discussed his ideas and he left me with a copy of the final draft.
The poems within April Song are gritty, but at the same time beautiful, so I drew upon urban imagery for the cover. Poetry is about the details – the beauty of a single word and how it works in tandem with others to complete a phrase that resonates within a piece. So I chose a close up shot of a brick street (Portland still has some of these in the older areas), and superimposed a reflection of Mt. Hood into a puddle. It captured the ethereal nature of his poetry perfectly and he ended up selling a record number of copies.
For his next project, he chose October and wrote thirty one poems during that month. When he was ready to publish, there was no question – he came back to have me design the cover for October Song. Expanding upon the nature theme, I chose imagery that captured the natural transformation of the seasons and, most importantly, the return of rain to the Pacific Northwest. I used the same typography and effects on the type to leet customers know that this was part of a set.
October Song was a hit and, more importantly, revived the sales of April Song. Mr. Pike was encouraged enough to pen two more collections, titled July Song and January Song.