Mark Rothco’s paintings have a subtle but extremely important influence on one of my In Cold Blood designs.
Rothco wanted viewers of his late period paintings – the ones I am interested in for the sake of my own design – to feel “enveloped” in them. I feel strikes a chord with In Cold Blood which pushed the boundary of what a non-fiction book could be, as Capote employed literary devices typical of the fiction genre. For Rothco, it was about being intimate and human, in the same way Truman Capote cut through so much noise of human emotion to get to the core of the story, so we can want to understand it 50 years later.
Another artist that greatly influenced one of my book cover designs was Edward Ardizzone.
On the London trip back in November we visited a retrospective exhibition of his work at the House of Illustration. I was particularly drawn to his illustrations that use a low tonal range to dramatize the scene. The study of the way light falls in art is called chiaroscuro, and it is easier to see how skilled he is in using this technique in these illustrations in comparison with some of his other coloured illustrations. This was convenient for me as I did want to do book cover with these types of colours, as in contemporary culture we often think in monotone when we think back to the early 60s due to the photography and print technologies that were in use at the time.
Luckily for me, small animals, and in particular, cats, feature in some of his illustrations. I love the way these animals, often a small details in the entire scene, still have their own personality and often, their own little narrative.