Today I welcome to the blog Luke Lucas, the designer of Falls the Shadows by Stefanie Gaither, published by Simon & Schuster. Thank you Luke for being here!
How did you become a designer and illustrator? Was it an area you always wanted to explore, or did it simply happen?
About half way through my first year of art school together with a friend we started a glossy print magazine and the rest is kind of history. It was really through creating layouts and lettering and design details for magazines that my obsession with lettering and illustration as a specialised career path was born.
How did you get involved with this cover design? Did Simon & Schuster contact you directly, or did they already know your work?
I have done quite a few covers with Simon & Schuster now. This one was through the art director for that specific title, Laurent Linn, and my rep here in Australia – The Jacky Winter Group.
How was the process of developing the cover? Was there a clear goal in mind?
Laurent was really interested in expressing the use of light and shadow to form a face in some way. I pitched the idea that that given there was the duality of the good and evil clone within the story line we could represent this by using the light for good and shadow for evil. I supplied a few sketches and the concept evolved.
How was the author involved? Was there some back and forth conversation with Stefanie Gaither, any ideas or suggestions?
I had no contact with Stefanie but I’m sure that the she was involved with the review process. I dealt directly with Laurent.
Do you have pictures of earlier designs?
This was one of the earlier rough drafts when we were still fleshing out the concept. The design changed quite a bit from here and subject details evolved to be more feminine but the core idea is represented here.
From your experience, does the publisher have the final say regarding the design of the book, or does the designer (and in some small ways, the writer) have free reign?
In my experience it can really vary. I’ve worked on projects where the author is probably a little too involved and others where they appear to not really have much input at all. I’ve been briefed by authors directly also. For the most part, like on jobs like this one, it’s up to the designer to sell a concept to the art director or whoever briefs them but then the art director has to sell it internally to their superiors and the author.
Was there anything particularly different or interesting about this book cover, interesting facts you’d like to share?
I’m typically hired for crafting custom lettering so this job was quite nice in that it was more of a conceptual illustrative piece than strictly type.
Finally, what are some of your favourite book covers, whether they’re recent or not?
Of the books that I’ve read in the last few years I quite liked the use of colour in the cover for Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shtenygart. There are so many really though.
Thank you again, Luke, for your answers!