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Pearson does McCarthy


Our studio-mate David Pearson spent a large chunk of last year working on a frankly fantastic series of covers for Cormac McCarthy's books, which have recently been published. They're a distinctly visceral set of typographic designs, reflecting the novels' frequently dark content.

Cormac_childofgod Cormac_thecrossing Cormac_nocountry Cormac_theroad

The full series of ten includes All the Pretty Horses, Blood Meridian, Child of God, Cities of the Plain, The Crossing, No Country for Old Men, The Orchard Keeper, Outer Dark, The Road, and Suttree. The designs were a real labour of love, and we thought it might be interesting to share with you how Dave put them together (and anyway, he's promised us a beer if we make this a longish post). The initial text designs were done in a layout programme, and then output as bitmaps for sending off to be made into rubber stamps. Here's the text for the cover quote for The Road - the original designs featured quotes taken from the novels themselves, but these were rejected in favour of marketing quotes from reviews.



Cormac_stamp1 Cormac_stamp2

Dave then created piles of prints from each stamp, experimenting with different amounts of black ink, different amounts of pressure (often by placing paper on the floor and standing on the stamps), and even by adding in some water to the mix to achieve some of the distressed textures (particularly on The Road cover).

The prints were then scanned in, and combinations of the different versions were layered up in Photoshop, sometimes combined with background textures, and given colour. Here's the No Country for Old Men cover part way through, stamped, scanned, and with a texture added.



They're a gorgeous set of covers, and there's one more currently in the pipeline. If you fancy reading more about Dave's work, check out these pieces about him on Casual Optimist and It's Nice That.

Right, reckon that's worth a beer. Or two.

posted: 3 March 2010
categories: Books | Graphics | Typography
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