All Through the Night - Book Cover

The process behind an illustrated book cover for a collection of moving and evocative night poems for Poetry Ireland.

Initial thumbnail sketch.
All Through the Night is a collection of moving and evocative night poems for all stages of life. Lullabies and other poems relating to children and parenting form the opening section, while later poems celebrate or give voice to our various night-time pleasures and preoccupations. The book is edited by Marie Heaney and published by Poetry Ireland.

This was a really special project for me as I was assigned a dual role of designer and illustrator. The brief for the cover imagery was to create a night-time, urban setting. My proposed concept involved making the full moon the focal point of the illustration, building the urban environment around it's strong, bright presence.
Some of the sketches exploring different compositions of a large moonlit urban setting.
My aim was to create an interesting visual effect using the large, circular moon shape. The concept sketches below show how the elements of the illustration change outside the moon's circumference.
Further sketches of the moon shape concept and how it should work. The sketch shows how each element would change by colour/tone/shade outside the circular moon shape. We see an aeroplane in the sky, but that was later changed to a bird!
Getting closer to the final sketch, looking at composition and how small details can impact on the overall image. We didn't want the illustration to be overly 'pretty' so some elements were altered, for example the victorian street light changed to an more modern urban style; the vintage looking car removed; more factories were added to the central area.
As designer I also had to consider the typography and where it should be placed on the cover. The typeface I selected was a swash version of Caslon. Caslon is a very old typeface and the juxtaposition of this old swash style and a modern urban setting seemed to create a unique effect. It also represented the mix of classic poems and modern current day poetry included in the book.
Left: The final cover sketch allowing for lots of bleed for later design of posters and promotional materials. I spent some additional time stylising the vixen character. Right: The first vector versions of the illustration. I love to work with a limited colour palette, here is an early and later colour test.
As I work mainly in vectors, sometimes the appearance of edges can be very sharp. I wanted to try something different for this cover, I added some texture and marks to soften the shapes and outlines. This was done in Photoshop using a Wacom tablet and gouache effect brushes.
The printed book: Uncoated paper over-board cover with matt lamination; blue coloured endpapers; spot UV finish on front cover.
Sewn bind, Munken cream stock chosen for interior pages.
A small nightingale motif was placed on the back cover, inspired by the John Keats poem 'Ode to a Nightingale' selected for inclusion in the book.
Bright mint coloured spine.
This hardback edition of All Through the Night is available from 15 September 2016 priced €16.99/£12.99 (RRP), order online at the Book Depository and Amazon
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