If you hate blogs about the old days, skip this one. I was reminiscing the other day about how much office supplies once mattered in the bookmaking process. We’d collect highlighters or colored pencils in every color we could find and hoard them like gold. They were just right for trying to suggest a color scheme on a cover or interior. We cut, pasted, and filtered for effects. We’d manipulate type on a photo copier to get an edgy feel to titling type.
For a cover for a book about rap music, our designers used a blank wall in our then-warehouse to create graffiti. For a series about archaeology, we found every kind and color of dirt we could in the greater Minneapolis area to simulate different dig settings. Then we arranged the dirt around a print of the image we wanted on the cover (below).
Even now, I know of at least one designer who’s used her own finger painting (left) to create a unique display font. Not having readily available and varied options made the challenge of creating covers even more fun.