I always love working with my old friends and colleagues at Penguin Books, so when AD Irene Vandervoort asked me to take on this fun middle-grade cover I jumped at the opportunity!
This is a funny and sweet middle-grade read about a southern girl, with a passion for cooking, who feels like a “leftover” from her divorced parents’ marriage but eventually comes to realize her very important place in her new blended family.
After exploring lots of concepts—including graphic, type-driven, and photographic approaches, we decided to play off the “leftovers” title and I created this fun typographic illustration. The book pubs next spring, but is available for pre-order now.
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to create some hand-lettered branding for a middle grade series by celebrated authors Laurence Yep and Joanne Ryder. It’s always a pleasure to work with the creative folks at Random House, and was fun to work my lettering into the illustrations of Harry Potter artist, Mary Grand Pre. Both books available now on Amazon.
I always love working with the creative team at Sourcebooks, and this cover was no exception. I was asked to redesign the cover for Pippa Morgan’s Diary, the super-secret diary of a 10-year old girl with a BIG imagination who’s life is just not going well at all! This is an already established series in the UK, so I was required to create the art in a style that reflected the character and interior illustrations, and the AD had specific concepts to follow. But it’s a super fun format and a hilarious read, so dove right in and had a lot of fun with it! Available to pre-order now on Amazon.
I recently finished this cover illustration for the second book in the Stage Struck series for Sleeping Bear Press. This fun middle-grade series is closely based on the real-life experience of the author Anya Wallach, who began a summer theater “camp” in her parents’ basement when she was just sixteen years old.
Thanks to Jennifer at Sleeping Bear —always such a pleasure to work with!
I recently had the great opportunity to work with Sleeping Bear Press on a new middle-grade book series, “Stage Struck” by Anya Wallach. I designed and illustrated this cover for the first book, including the hand-lettered branding that will be carried over to future books in the series. The series is closely based on the real-life experience of Wallach, who began a summer theater “camp” in her parents’ basement when she was just sixteen years old and formed Random Farms, which has launched the careers of many of today’s youngest stars on Broadway.
Many thanks to AD, Jennifer Bacheller, for this fun project!
Very excited to finally get to share a big project I worked on earlier this year—a whimsical “Wonderlandiful Doodle Book” for Little Brown!
The 128-page activity book for tween girls tied into one of the publisher’s licensed properties—Mattel’s Ever After High. So I was to incorporate the style guide art into my design, but also create lots of original illustrations and hand-lettering, as well as concept each page—and write the entire text! Projects with this kind of integration of the entire package and so much creative freedom are absolutely my favorite, and it was my first time authoring, so I was thrilled to dive right in! Here’s the cover and some spreads from the book—all character illustrations, logos and some background elements are from Mattel, but all other artwork by yours truly. On sale now!
Many thanks to wonderful AD, Christina Quintero, for such a truly fun project!
I was recently commissioned to redesign a really cool YA post-apocalyptic thriller series for Skyscape. The art director had a fantastic vision for these, with a focus on hand-lettered title type design that would turn from orderly and a bit futuristic to “deviant”, swirling and splitting off into different directions that would snake around the cover. Laying the decorative type over an atmospheric stock photo would give these books a futuristic, dystopian feel.
I sketched out a bunch of different type styles for these, and we developed one into something that has a sort of decorative circuit board feel that conveys the sci-fi tone of the series. I really love how the final covers turned and it was SO fun to get to create custom lettering in such a decorative, elaborate style! Many thanks to Katrina for the project and great art direction!
I don’t think most people realize how many versions a book cover goes through before it becomes the final product they see on the shelf. Designing a book cover is a very collaborative process, and though it can also be a very challenging and loooong process at times—it’s always fascinating to see the evolution. Often, a designer’s best or favorite concepts are not the ones that make the final cut, so it’s fun to share what was left behind.
Here’s a recent cover I did for Egmont. Another opportunity to mix my own illustration and lettering into the design, I dove right in and really enjoyed hammering out these first comps.
Ultimately, the publisher preferred a more commercial photographic approach, but I was still able to incorporate a whimsical illustration into the final cover:
This is Mary Amato’s second YA novel, and is available for pre-order on Amazon.