Mak­ing the cover

Computer Arts - - Cover Artist - GUILLAUME KURKDJIAN Guillaume has a client list that in­cludes IBM and Huff­in­g­ton Post, and a cult fol­low­ing on Be­hance and Tum­blr. He de­scribes his work as “colour­ful, smooth, naive but cheeky, of­ten ex­cit­ing and geo­met­ric.” www.hand­some­frank.com

With our cover fea­ture of­fer­ing ad­vice on the day-to-day pol­i­tics of small stu­dios, we knew we wanted our cover il­lus­tra­tion to fo­cus on the heart of a thriv­ing of­fice en­vi­ron­ment – the re­la­tion­ships be­tween the peo­ple.

Guillaume Kurkdjian’s iso­met­ric style – gor­geously stylised worlds, pop­u­lated by bustling minia­ture peo­ple – was a perfect fit for the in­ti­mate feel we wanted to con­vey. We knew that we wanted the ‘stu­dio’ cov­er­line to stand out from a dis­tance (and Kurkdjian’s beau­ti­ful, dis­tinc­tive colour scheme en­sured that im­me­di­ately), but we also knew we wanted read­ers to look close into the il­lus­tra­tion and rel­ish all kinds of quirks and de­tails.

From our ini­tial sketch, there were re­mark­ably few draft de­vel­op­ments: Kurkdjian de­vel­oped our first ideas and ex­e­cuted them rapidly with bags of beau­ti­ful ex­tra flour­ishes.

It was de­light­ful to watch our tiny stu­dio get built, coloured and brought to life by a mae­stro.

Right: Our first sketch to Guillaume Kurkdjian crammed in as many sce­nar­ios and in­dus­try roles as pos­si­ble, with de­sign­ers at desks, meet­ings at break­out ar­eas and even an in­for­mal gath­er­ing at a wa­ter­cooler. An ini­tial ‘re­lax­ing’ boss (seen right, re­clin­ing on the let­ter ‘U’) was soon struck out.

Above: Kurkdjian’s early draft im­me­di­ately cap­tured the at­mos­phere we wanted. We scrib­bled even more de­tails on top (above left), and en­sured that each let­ter had its own nar­ra­tive so we could break apart the cover il­lus­tra­tion, and scat­ter them through­out the fea­ture. This was an im­por­tant part of the ini­tial brief, as we wanted read­ers to be able to pore over the il­lus­tra­tion in greater de­tail.

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