Jacket Design: First Fire, Then Birds

First Fire, Then Birds by H. L. Hix is the latest book I designed that was published by Etruscan Press. This was my first jacket design for a hardcover book. It started as a standard 6×9” but about halfway through the interior typesetting, I realized the poems were crowding the margins to an uncomfortable degree. It took a little longer for the decision makers to recognize the problem, but by the completion of draft one, we were all in agreement that the size wasn’t working. Several drafts and a revised timeline later, we settled upon dimensions which we felt would accommodate the visually stimulating poems that comprise this book. It’s really an anthology, so the book combines a veritable cornucopia of styles and varying designs (all Hix’s work—I simply replicated his designs in the typesetting process). The end result is a 7×9.5” book, affording a much-needed extra inch for inside and outside margins and enough white space to provide requisite visual relief for such demanding content. I won’t comment further on the content since I’m no poet. Reviews are available at Publishers Weekly and on Amazon, where the book can also be purchased.

Below is the completed full jacket design.

Image of the full cover jacket design for First Fire, Then Birds by H. L. Hix


2 Responses to “Jacket Design: First Fire, Then Birds”

  1. dave says:

    I can’t imagine having to please all the stakeholders in a project as complex as this; and you managed it with incredible style. This is a beautiful piece.

    • tmcaimi says:

      Thanks Dave, considering your amazing design knowledge and skills, that means a lot. This was definitely a learning experience and in the end, well worth the effort. You are right, there were more stakeholders than I expected–including the author’s mother! Luckily, she really did have a good eye for design and ended up helping us arrive at a final product that, as far as I know, did please everyone involved.

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