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Cover art, etc., 4/28/12

2012 April 28

The year is already nearly one-third gone. I feel like I’m just barely managing to make something of the months as they fly past, but I also feel like if I blink for even a moment I will suddenly find myself sitting here with the last leftover turkey and a Christmas Ale wondering where the time went.

Finished this book cover, the other day; I didn’t post the front when it was first approved but when I looked back I thought hey, this is kind of nice. Bright, colorful.

Cover for 'Management of Pregnant and Neonatal Dogs, Cats, and Exotic Pets'

I think those things in the upper right are Chinchillas, fwiw

I’m also happy that I was able to wrap a continuous layout around the spine and back cover, rather than treating them more-or-less separately as often happens. In doing so I rearranged the order of the back cover copy from how it was provided. I used to do that some times and then kind of dropped it; since this was approved, I may need to begin trying that again. Frankly, there’s always a temptation to simply lay out the spine and back cover art as mechanically as possible. That part of the project doesn’t pay a lot, it’s relatively little-noticed compared with the front cover, no one is particularly demanding about the level of design, and I’m often dealing with a large amount of copy which limits the scope for anything clever, anyway. I try to avoid giving in to that temptation too often, for two reasons. One, a desire simply to do and remain associated with good work. Two, to some extent there is very much a self-interest issue even if it isn’t cash-based; the more uninspired shortcuts I take, the more I’m effectively training myself to do uninspired shortcut design work. You are what you do all day. In other notes…

Still going around the sun, here. Various things going on, most of which I will go into at the proper time. Meanwhile, I seem to be writing more of these “omnibus status update” posts, which are in a sense both a response to being busier and an illustration of why I am busier right now. (Warren Ellis has done these at times, and lately his own blogging has fallen off but he has just started a new e-mail newsletter which is basically of the same, sit down once a week and address a number of things at once, nature; perhaps much the same situation at work there.) This past week I spent the greater part of my days, six days straight, sitting and working away at Project X. And part of the reason for efforts like this is less an impatience to be finished ASAP than it is a desire to finish some time this year. I expect to finish far sooner, but it would be difficult without working intensively. It’s kind of one of those things where interruptions are very, very costly; if I work for much of the day with few days off the whole thing might take, say, 120 hours, whereas if I work for shorter periods with more gaps progress would be not only slower but a lot slower, and the whole thing might end up taking 200 hours simply because of the time involved in repeated “cold starts.”

And by the same token, some of that applies to blogging even if the effect is much smaller. With a good platform like WordPress there’s really very limited “friction” involved in writing a new individual post, and yet. It’s really more mental friction, I guess. The process of deciding to turn away from whatever else is going on, sit down, log in, compose my ideas, type them up, assemble whatever links or image will accompany them, add tags, preview, proofread, post, check it again, decide it’s good enough and finally log back out and, more to the point, think about all of these steps along the way.

Edit: Also, AIGA Cleveland is hosting another reverb event this coming Wednesday. As this one will be an evening event I will probably actually make it, this time, and do plan on doing so at any rate.

Ummmmm what else, I guess I’ll close with a random thought. While I was at the Y, yesterday, I saw the most baffling crossover-promotion TV commercial for General Electric. It was basically touting GE’s innovation and smartness, kind of an updated extra-progressive spin on the old “we bring good things to light.” Except for the odd choice of the particular “good thing” they chose to spotlight. Nothing mysterious about the focus on wind turbines, as representing renewable energy, tomorrow’s infrastructure, environmental impact, etc. But then they pursued this odd tangent of “we create these products which create the electricity which allows brewers to create beer.” And that could almost work, except for the particular beer which they highlighted as made possible through GE’s technology: Budweiser. I mean, wha? “Hi, we’re GE, we’re as innovative and progressive as the nation’s number-one flavorless mass-market corporate beer brand.” Ohhhhh-kay.

2 Responses
  1. April 28, 2012

    Wait — you compose your ideas BEFORE you start typing? And then proofread them afterwards? THAT must be what I’ve been doing wrong!

    That GE commercial struck me as odd for the exact same reason, too. I don’t even drink beer and I know about Budweiser’s place in the market. Why they don’t consult me on such matters, I don’t know. 🙂

    Anyway, nice cover. Simple solution, but still fairly eye-catching.

  2. Matt permalink
    April 28, 2012

    Given the advice they apparently receive from whoever is being consulted, I honestly don’t know either, heh!

    Anyway, cheers, and appreciate your comment on the cover. Looking at it now I should have gotten that red color in on the back cover somewhere (proofing, argh!) but yeah I think it pulls off the colors in a way that seems to “fit.” In fact this would probably make a nice addition to Adobe’s kuler widget, though something like it is probably already in there four or five times over.

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