As I mentioned on our twitter (@foundpress) a few days back, I’ve lately become especially aware of just how much narrative affects – has always affected – my design decisions. I don’t know if that’s the right way to do things, or even a good way to do things, but I don’t pay that no never mind. We love stories! And we love bringing them to you just as much.
Today I’m going to tell you a little about putting together the covers for our very first collection. Prepare to be whelmed with anecdotes!
The Moment We Came Alive (FPQ Winter 2011)
You may or may not know that we held a cover contest featuring images sent to us from all and sundry (you can read all about that contest – as well as some insight into the image submitted by winner Alex Lewandowski – here). What you most likely don’t know is that this image was the very first submission we received.
I have to be honest, we really weren’t sure what to expect when we set up the contest. So to receive an image so meaningful (those are Alex’s kids, after all) and so gosh darn beautiful (no explanation required) right off the bat – it felt a little like waking up to a sunny morning.
Addresses (Cynthia Flood)
Apartment buildings are an important component to Cynthia’s story, which worked out for me, because I live in one and can take some pretty wacky pictures of it without too much trouble. I took this photo by basically leaning over the side of my balcony and snapping as many shots as possible around the corner of the building before vertigo got the best of me.
That weird object to the left of the text is a fake owl that the occupants of that apartment have set up to frighten pigeons. It works, but I wish it wouldn’t frighten them right onto my balcony, which they have bleached quite thoroughly with their foul terror.
Somehow There Was More Here (Danny Goodman)
The original photo used in this cover is a little different in that it was taken by the author, the incomparable Danny Goodman. So, Danny, what’s the scoop?
“There’s not too much ‘story’ – I was walking through Central Park, and I stopped to write on a small lawn near the south end of the park. Something about the people and energy and sky made me take the picture. It served as inspiration, later, when writing the dream sequence in Somehow There Was More Here.”
The original photo features a couple of people in bathing suits. I didn’t know people walked around like that in Central Park.
In Our House by the Sea (Kirsty Logan)
This one was a tough one. The story is so evocative, so full of emotion, that my brain exploded a little trying to come up with an image to encapsulate it all. So I relied extremely heavily on Kirsty’s vision and feedback to get this cover done. She deserves as much credit as I do, because without her help this cover would’ve been a photo of toothbrushes or my bedsheets. I’m not even kidding.
It’s probably why I love this cover so much, actually – it’s a collaboration more than anything.
Cross Yourself by Lana Storey
Believe it or not, this is a photo of the desk I’m typing on at this very moment, with some foil stars scattered over it. The little boy in the middle was scanned from a vintage Eaton’s catalogue a friend of mine had discovered at an outdoor art festival. Those old catalogues are a freaking treasure trove – I think I’ve used scans from this particular catalogue in at least two other covers. Just watch out for the mould from those things. I have to keep it in a plastic bag when not in use because it smells like an abandoned warehouse.
So there you have it. I’ll get to the next collection at some point, but in the meantime, we’ve got Canzine Toronto this Sunday to prepare for. If you’re in the Toronto area on October 23, why don’t you come on down?