Well heck, it seems like only yesterday we were sitting down to design the cover for Why I Write for the first Great Ideas Series, but it was actually five years ago…
The latest series is just about to be published, and we were asked to design a cover for a collection of essays by Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, under the title The Perpetual Race of Achilles and the Tortoise (above). The essays discuss, amongst other things, the existence of hell and the philosophy of contradictions.
We did a bit of research into Borges’ writings, and learnt that he’d been one of the founding contributors to the Argentine literary journal Sur, which was published regularly from 1931 until around 1966.
The covers of the earlier issues of the magazine are a single colour decorated with a just a white arrow, the issue number and the masthead, while the later issues also feature a full list of contributors.
The magazine has a very distinctive (and typographically bonkers) masthead, and fortunately the name ‘Sur’ isn’t a million miles from the name ‘Borges’, so basing our design on it felt like a rather tasty solution.
We managed to pick up a couple of copies of the magazine from Lirolay Books in the USA; and set to work drawing the new title. We also scanned in a blank page of the magazine to use as a tonal background for the cover, emphasising the ephemeral nature of the source.
The rest of the covers, as with all the previous series, are principally designed by David Pearson, with additional designs by Phil Baines and Catherine Dixon.
We’re entirely biased, but we think they’re one of the best sets yet. David has uploaded most of the covers to this Great Ideas Volume V Flickr set, and will be posting the final few imminently.