Ulverton & Mr Bridge: two book jacket illustration commissions

Jonathan Gibbs

Research output: Other contribution

Abstract

These are two examples of current Illustration practice, where the artist works with a designer and publisher to create an image for the book, in both cases reprints of novels.

Firstly, 'Ulverton', by Adam Thorpe was first published in 1997; a novel concerned with the fictional village of Ulverton over a span of time from 1650 to 1988.
The commission was to make a new image for this book, giving a sense of the many-layered narrative; complex, historical and contemporary.
I was briefed by Stephen Parker, art editor at Random House, to develop various drawings in preparation for the finished piece.
These drawings, 'visuals', were discussed with Stephen and his literary editor at Random House, with reference to various interpretations of Thorpe's text.
There was to be no topographic or specific historical imagery, rather to suggest the subject and mood of writing.
The final illustration fills the cover design and includes the hand-lettered title, 'Ulverton.

Secondly, 'Mr Bridge' by Evan S. Connell was first published in 1959, a novel concerning a couple living in Kansas City from the 1920s to 40s. My brief from Isabelle De Cat at Penguin Books required a simple and symbolic design, reminiscent of 1950s Graphic Design, to set the mood of the novel, without using literal or naturalistic imagery. Again, a set of drawings were submitted to the art and literary editors.
A choice was made of a rather surrealistic and sparse depiction of an American interior, showing fragmented elements of Mr Bridge's wardrobe and posessions.
Original languageEnglish
TypeULVERTON & MR BRIDGE, book illustration
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2012

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