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U can touch this

October 29, 2009

A project for spec fic friends Dean and Joey and their latest baby, The Farthest Shore, Estranghero Press’ first offering which is an anthology of second world fiction from the Philippines, launched just weeks ago. Evolution of the cover might as well be a story of its own.


First row.
Leftmost image looks like a book on botany and aquaculture (that’s a self-criticism). Center image F. Sionil Jose-ish, according to Dean (not that it’s bad), and title box reminiscent of high school drafting classes according to Claren. There’s got to be a sensation of strangeness, said Dean again. And there should be a portal. Rightmost image, no reaction. The face in the armoire is an allusion to the cover of Ursula Le Guin’s The Birthday of the World. Le Guin, after all, has a similarly-titled book in her Earthsea series.

Second row.
It’s “The Farthest Shore” not Shores, said Joey. Yeah, I’m not listening. Left and center image, Dean: “I’m not a fan of overlapped type” or something to that effect. Claren agrees. I concede. Third image, derm, where should I put the compass?

Third row.
Nailed it, after seeing a tutorial featuring an arched door, a winged horse, a sword and light pouring in. Aka, the works. Still the same hard requirements: strange structure, portal, old map. Photoshop’s pen tool (thanks, Rick) wanted me to wish I had a third hand, or an extra index finger. Then several bottles of Red Horse got me worried about the feathering (this is a story within a story, a montage). Stop the nitpicking, I was told (ooh that was a nice advice on Life). The texture makes Rick want to touch it like a real book (we very much hope so that it’ll be at least a paperback soon). Then I made a back cover. One dose of verisimilitude served! Rightmost sigil of course, is for ownership purposes in case somebody lifts this image illegally.

Roll credits here:
Typography, exljbris Font Foundry
Armoire and No Man’s Land images, Paul Grand
Face profiles, Tyrone Orbase
Textures, borealnz
Map, Strangemaps
Kois, grass, Kaohsiung lighthouse, crags of Amper Beach and Vigan doorways, my own (so there goes the Philippine elements in the making of this cover)
Claren and Rick for the bittersweet peanut gallery comments

This is the design part of South by Design, munchkin!

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