‘The Hobbit’ Book Cover Design by Adam Busby


'The Hobbit' Book Cover Design by Adam Busby

A couple weeks ago I rather uncouthly declared on Twitter that our last Re-Covered Books contest, featuring The Hobbit as the subject, was a flat out disaster. I shortly after received an email from Adam Busby taking me to task about the comment. He had worked hard on his cover and it wasn’t fair to sweep the contest aside. He was right, and I was wrong. He sent me a copy of the cover design he created, and if you ask me, it was quite a winner.

I think what Adam did right with his cover is that he made it feel contemporary but still with a nod to the book because of the hand-made nature to the map in the background. It’s got all sorts of distressed print marks around the edges of the cover which makes it feel like the map has been used numerous times on a number of adventures. The font he chose/created for the title is also full of character, with a lopsided H and an I that’s shorter than the T. The back cover is simple and well organized, exactly what you’d want to see.

Overall I think Adam nailed this and absolutely had a chance of winning the contest. This cover is so spot-on you could imagine it being sold at Anthropologies and Urban Outfitters everywhere. You can see more of Adam’s great work by clicking here.

February 4, 2013 / By

‘Momotaro’ – An Incredible Pop-Up Book by Icinori

MOMOTARO by Raphael Urwiller + Mayumi Otero 1

MOMOTARO by Raphael Urwiller + Mayumi Otero 2

Icinori produce some of the best picture books I think I’ve ever seen! The publishing studio is made up of illustrators Mayumi Otero and Raphael Urwiller, and their publications often come in the form of impressively engineered pop-up books filled with beautiful illustrations and incredible paper constructions.

The book above is called Momotaro and it’s a retelling of a popular Japanese folk story. The name ‘Momotaro’ literally means Peach Taro, which is commonly translated as Peach Boy. According to the legend, the story tells the tale of a strange child born of an apricot who undertakes a quest and travels to a distant island to fight oni, eventually becoming a great hero in the process. Like much folklore, Momotaro is a fantastically off-the-wall tale but it also sounds like a really great story. You can learn more about it here. I love the look of Icinori’s adaptation and I really love how it manages to feel very traditional and yet completely modern all at once. Make sure to see more of their work by checking out their website here.

MOMOTARO by Raphael Urwiller + Mayumi Otero 3

MOMOTARO by Raphael Urwiller + Mayumi Otero 4

January 30, 2013 / By

Space Suit of the Week

Space Race - Tom Clohosy Cole

Space Race - Tom Clohosy Cole

Space Race - Tom Clohosy Cole

Space Race - Tom Clohosy Cole

Space Race - Tom Clohosy Cole

Space Race - Tom Clohosy Cole

The space race was the greatest competition all time: two great nations pushing technological and scientific boundaries for galactic supremacy. Rooted in the necessity to achieve what no nation had yet to accomplish, science and mankind reached new heights. Tom Clohosy Cole’s concertina, Space Race, beautifully illustrates this push to the limits. The efforts of these two great Cold War super powers are detailed on opposing sides of a paper-made Iron Curtain narrating the notable achievements of spaceflight. The highlights of the USSR include Sputnik’s star streak across the autumn sky and Yuri Gagarin’s landmark orbital waltz around the home planet. On the opposing side, the achievements of the United States showcase the Apollo rocket boys. Cole’s concertina crescendos at quite probably the greatest single achievement in the space race – the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. This event technically marks the end of the Space race between the two nations as the Soviet Soyuz and the Yankee Apollo crafts dock together–a cosmic handshake and sign of peace. From my own ethnocentric point of view, the space race narrative (as told here in the United States) ends with Armstrong & his boys’ dance on the moon. Yet in actuality the Test Project, commonly referred to statewide as Apollo 18, is truly the last dance of the great space race. Cole’s depiction in four colors boldly celebrates these adventuresome achievements. And unfurled, it paints a panorama of this time far grander than any Hasselblad shot brought back as a souvenir.

January 25, 2013 / By

Rene Redzepi and the Story of Noma

Noma Cookbook Cover

Rene Redzepi

The inspiration for food themed week of posts came from my obsession with Rene Redzepi and his restaurant, Noma. Redzepi pioneered New Nordic Cuisine, which uses only locally and seasonally harvested ingredients. This approach has led many to say that Noma is in fact the best restaurant in the world right now, which is now surprise if you’ve seen the dishes Noma puts out.

What I find inspiring is how passionate Redzepi is about his cooking. It’s not just about putting food on a plate, it’s about creating an experience. It’s about taking an ingredient and pairing it with other ingredients that would grow in the very same area. It’s about taking six weeks to prepare a grasshopper garum. Everything Redzepi does is done with 120% of effort and that to me is where his genius lies.

The video was created by Phaidon for the release of the Noma cookbook they published. It gives a pretty godo insight into the type of foods that Noma is preparing and the dedication Redzepi has to New Nordice Cuisine. Hopefully you’ll find Redzepi as inspiring as I do.

January 17, 2013 / By

Design Observer picks their 50 best book covers of 2011

Design Observer picks their 50 best book covers of 2011

I think I may be a bit behind on this, but Design Observer has a great list of the 50 best book covers of 2011, many of which are some real jaw droppers. The list was put together by a panel of 35 folks, people like Michael Beirut, Irma Boom and Chip Kidd, who’ve sorted through a ton of nominations to choose the creme of the crop. The picks above are a sampling and feature some of my favorites of the bunch. Looking through the list it also made me realize that physical books aren’t going to disappear any time soon, especially when they’re this beautiful.

If interested, you can also check out a list of nominations for the best book cover of 2012 by clicking here.

October 5, 2012 / By

Illustrations of ‘The World’s First Ballon Flight’ by Rui Tenreiro

Image from 'Montgolfier' by Rui Tenreiro

Image from 'Montgolfier' by Rui Tenreiro

Image from 'Montgolfier' by Rui Tenreiro

Verdens første ballongferd (The World’s First Balloon Flight) is a newly released book for children written by Lena Lindahl and illustrated by Rui Tenreiro. The book is about of the world’s first aeronauts and it tells the true-life story of two brothers in 18th century France who set about building the first hot air balloon. The illustrations really looks terrific and wish I could speak Norweigan just so that I could read this.

It’s illustrator, Rui Tenreiro, is a Mozambican author, artist and editor. Dividing his time between Sweden and Mozambique he creates wonderful illustrations filled with detail and character. Some prints from the book will soon be available from Rui Tenreiro’s online shop while the book itself is currently available online here.

September 24, 2012 / By

4 Good Books To Finish Out Your Summer

4 Good Books To Finish Out Your Summer

It’s the holiday season. Those dog days of summer where vacations are crammed in before fall hits. Most of us might be escaping to tropical wonderlands, new cities, or to forests and countries across the world. What are you going to read on your trip?

I’ll tell you this much: I’m going to do everything possible to keep you from reading Fifty Shades of Bore, A Girl Who Did Something Weird, or A Game of Bones: Songs of Chicks and Midgets. Never fear, friend. I suggest these four reads, all very different, to occupy some space in your duffle bag or e-reader.

Wool by Hugh Howey

We’ve touted Wool before. This sensation has became a phenomenon. One of the best selling series in the history of Amazon, rumor has it Wool has been picked up by Ridley Scott and will be published by Random House in 2013. I mean, how can we not get obsessed with Hugh Howey’s riveting prose and dynamic, flawed characters living in a silo? Destined to become a modern classic, it’s one of the sparks to the resurgence of sci-fi literature. The best use of 14,000 words in a long time. And when you get done with that one, the sequels are waiting for you.

Swoosh by J.B. Strasser

A great read on the beginning of Nike. What I enjoy the most about this book is the way it examines the shoe business pre-GOAT, back when Adidas and Puma ran the Olympics, back when shoe treads were made on waffle irons. Strasser’s style is easy going and flows well to show how an obsession with running created the iconic shoe company. It reveals the development of Nike since, well, before there was a Nike. Plus it’s about shoes. We all love shoes.

The Last of the Best by Jim Murray

He really was the best. The Pulitzer Prize winner, 14 time sports writer of the year, the treasure of the LA Times. This was a man who drank with Sinatra, golfed with Hogan, and smoked cigars with Steinbrenner. How could a man who was blind for most of these articles get the essence of sports so well? This collection is charming, engaging, hilarious, and tearful all at once. Getting benched in the World Series was “like a fourth-runner up in a Miss America contest.” Hole #15 of the Masters: “Who designed this hole – Dracula?” Los Angeles a “complicated hobo jungle,” Magic Johnson on the court becomes “an iceberg bearing down on the Titanic.” The subject of these final 60 columns ranges from Mike Tyson to a 17 year old Tiger Woods. Each is enjoyable and a lesson as to how to write to your audience with passion and what you believe in.

Mount Analogue by Rene Daumal

I read it once a year. The only book I let ex-girlfriends get away with stealing because it might change their life forever. Rene Daumal was a contemporary of the French Surrealist movement. This allegorical tale blends mountain climbing, adventure, metaphysics, the teachings of Gurdjieff, and spiritual enlightenment. That TV show Lost seems to be based on this, but Damon Lindelof can’t close a story half as well as this obscure, unfinished piece of surrealism. Daumal, translated by Roger Shattuck, crams more meaning per word anyone in years.

August 15, 2012 / By