First, from Rebecca, this is a fascinating article that profiles Claire Brown, who designs covers for romance novels from Forever.
I love this article because it's not condescending or snide- it talks about the art involved.
The design of the romance genre is driven by sales, but the formula works. “There are constraints in how much we can deviate without alienating the reader,” Brown says. “Familiarity in typeface and painterly style reassures the reader that this book is what you think it is going to be, and you are going to love it.
“With that said, there are an infinite number of design problems that need to be solved within the constraints of a romance cover. The canvas is very small and the typography and setting are grand. A knowledge of history and classical art, architecture, and furnishings is important. We have a library of classical art books, contemporary high fashion, architecture, and interior design. I take field trips to the Met for inspiration.
And speaking of the art involved, check this weirdness. I am on the mailing list for a local art supply store because they have fantastic sales on Crayola and other art supplies my kids love. So today Jerry's Artist Outlet had an announcement for a special program 2 June with artist Max Ginsburg.
Ok, neat, but I'm not into painting, so I didn't think much beyond, “Hey, that's cool.” I liked the samples on the page and thought they looked familiar, but then I went on to the other sixty-zillion messages in my inbox.
He's done several of Kleypas and Quinn's covers, including Suddenly You – both the cover and the step back, Dreaming of You (I love how he describes the author as “the famous and important Romance Writer, Lisa Kleypas” — right on, Max), The Duke and I and Brighter Than the Sun.
His illustration process is fascinating. I'm tempted to go to the day with Max, except I'm totally busy that day, and I wouldn't want to rob someone who is a painter of the chance to see him in action.
At RT, Angela James was helping Nalini Singh at her signing, and told me one of Nalini's fans brought a giclee print of the cover of Archangels' Consort, which was created by Tony Mauro – who sells calendars of his cover art as well. I heard that the print itself, full size with the full background which isn't seen on the cover of the book, is just stunning.
Do you have a favorite cover artist, or piece of cover art? What book cover would you want to own in poster size?
ETA: Cover Contest for 2011 is Live and taking votes! WOO!