These are the first four books in the third series of Australian poet’s collections, published by Cordite Books. There are 10 books per series, the books are published incrementally through the year as they are completed and edited – one challenge is designing a series look without having read all the manuscripts. The typeface Bembo had been chosen for internal layout, so I decided to only use Bembo on the cover design. I asked the publisher Kent MacCarter to have each author supply a list of four or five objects that feature in their collection for me to work from. My explanation to Kent:

  1. Poetry demands work on the part of the reader. The typography on cover and blurb reflects this. Although unconventional, I’m certain the audience for these books will cope.
  2. Cyanotype is a printing process used to produce copies of drawings or images that are a reflection, or a shadow, of the original. The authors all supplied significant objects or things that appear in their collection – these images are not summaries of the work but a kind of shadow of it.
  3. The spot colour for each book (in addition to the blue) is chosen based on what I feel works with the image. I can’t explain exactly how I do this, but it feels right.

Also of note, I didn’t have the title for ‘About the Author is Dead’ until I’d designed the first three. The typographic treatment is more challenging for a long title – here’s hoping the next six are single work or short phrases.