Crypto Riffs

When creating art for a book or magazine cover, I usually hit the mark fairly quickly after going through some initial rough passes, i.e.  getting through  the shit before the brainstorm.

Every once in awhile I think I’ve struck gold,  only to put aside the art for 24 hours and then  return to find something ain’t right.

Back to Square One.

Rarer still is when I have a series of variations –  like them all  and can’t decide which is best. That’s where I was today working on the cover for a forthcoming “cryptlipo” themed issue of LE SCAT NOIR.

I wound up with three designs:

Each spoke to me —albeit  in different languages. (BTW, the word is a bastardized marriage between crypto and Oulipo)

To reach this point had taken two and a half days. When I sat down to do the cover  I didn’t have the photograph. Instead, I was focused on the type in Adobe Illustrator.

I liked the concept of the characters hiding behind the theme, a game of hide and seek. This would be quite nice if I was only going to  use typography. Combined with an image, however, it would probably be lost to the viewer. But then I realized that was OK because it  was still there and captured the theme.

Sure enough, after I extruded and warped cryptlipo, “hidden” was barely visible. 🙂

Once I had the photo of the man at his typewriter, colorized and tweaked it, it was then a matter of coloring the type.

I placed each image beneath the masthead for comparison.

Alas, all three looked pretty good.


FINALLY… I made a decision.(I had to, I’m the editor).

I chose the one at bottom here.because the typography seemed integrated with the photo as opposed to looking slapped on.   The type  in the other  two are  more dynamic, but overallI think this one looks best.

What do you think?

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