Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lenny Cyrus cover process

What follows is an abbreviated look at the sketches that came from designing a cover to the forthcoming middle-grade book: Lenny Cyrus, School Virus. I was lucky to work with an art director who was both hilarious and full of good ideas.
1. The first go was to drum up a few ideas. The first related to the relationship between the three main characters, the second was the action poster idea and the final one focused on the main character with a patterned viral frame around him.
2. Of those three initial ideas, the art director preferred the action poster style (middle), but suggested not having the girl in an enlarged looming portrait--a spot normally reserved a main villain in these kind of layouts. That made sense to me! So on to the next version. At this point we also began talking about making it a full wraparound image.
and a hastily colored version...
3. While that version was being considered, a couple of new ideas came up just to throw out there. I wasn't particularly committed to either of these, but was good to break away from the more elaborate action poster idea and try to be "clever".
4. Failing being clever, it was back to the action poster idea. The art director was hoping to see something a bit more intense in the characters--a little less "wide-eyed wonder". The secondary characters were booted to focus on the main guys. The secondary guys get plenty of time in the interior illustrations anyway and shouldn't be so greedy. The art director provided a mock-up logo to drop in this sketch.
5. For the final design, an expanded background was provided for a backdrop to back cover and cover flaps. The art director also suggested introducing some germy guys floating around, that would replace secondary characters of the earlier sketch. I am tempted to post his quickly sketched idea, as his germ sketches ruled.
Lenny Cyrus, School Virus comes out from Houghton Mifflin in April 2013.

3 comments:

Unknown said...

Fierce. Loooooove this, Matty.

Meridth Gimbel said...

Wow. Very cool.

Ms. Yingling said...

The cover and the interior decorations are perfect for middle school. Cartoons, yet not overly young. Very nice!