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Book Cover Design

This is another first for me: a book cover design for the autobiography of Aldo Rescigno, an Italian native who traveled the globe as a researcher, building his career as a world-renowned authority on biomathematics and pharmacology.

La Ricerca (“The Research”) chronicles Prof. Rescigno’s life and life work spanning eight decades and four continents. The cover is illustrated with a world map dating from the time he first left Italy in the early 1960s and a vintage photo of Prof. Rescigno in his office at the University of California, Berkeley.

The process involved obtaining a map source that was of adequate resolution and in the public domain. I placed it so that the west coast of the U.S. and Australia, both places where Prof. Rescigno worked, were visible on the front cover, and adjusted the map’s saturation to keep it in the background yet remain readable. Next, using Photoshop, I scanned and retouched a badly degraded slide of Prof. Rescigno and created a composite of the portrait and a vintage photo border with adhesive corners. Finally, I added and positioned the book’s title and subtitle and the author’s name. The final composition was created in Adobe Illustrator.

The book, in Italian, is available in ebook format from Amazon.com.

A recent story on NPR asks, is book cover design a dying art? Read below.

http://www.npr.org/2012/08/05/157886049/in-the-e-book-world-are-book-covers-a-dying-art

I’m not primarily—or even secondarily—a cover artist, but it seems to me that ebook cover design just switches the model. It forces the designer to bypass the tactile elements that might make a cover compelling on the bookshelf and focus instead on the visual. My approach to this cover was to make simple design that works at screen resolution.