Bloomsbury is an independent publisher, and we’ve just celebrated our 30th anniversary and gone through a major branding process. We thought the time was right to celebrate 10 of our best titles going back through the years – something to excite existing audiences who remember them, and to reveal the books to new, first-time readers. The titles were chosen by our board and our editors, and were presented to my art director and me in a big meeting.
The brief was very loose – just that the set of 10 should be beautiful and stand out in an already busy market for classic reads. They needed something fresh and original. The titles go from fiction through to non-fiction genres, with varying writing styles, but I did notice that most of them have had some form of visual adaptation through TV or cinema over the years. I felt this could give us an area of commonality.
I knew I wanted the layout to be clean, minimal and modern, and I tried pattern-based ideas, approaches that were purely typographic, and the cinematic approach, which won out in the end. The thinking was that each title had a pivotal scene. I approached each cover like a frame from a classic moment in the story, with minimal type and lots of white space – an elegant, widescreen approach to the set.