Under the Cover: Poem in Your Pocket for Young Poets
In honor of National Poetry Month—and Poem in Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 14—here's a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cover, Poem in Your Pocket for Young Poets.
Published in association with the Academy of American Poets, Poem in Your Pocket for Young Poets includes one hundred poems—classic and contemporary—printed on perforated pages that allow readers to select a favorite poem, rip it out of the book, and keep it for inspiration, sharing, etc. Poem in Your Pocket for Young Poets is the young adult counterpart to Poem in Your Pocket: 200 Poems to Read and Carry (cover below), a very successful book of poetry published and designed by Abrams Image in 2009.
My design challenge was to create a fresh, unique, teen-inspired cover that would also look like a companion piece to the adult title. No one was completely sure how alike the covers should be, so I began with a blank canvas.
Cover Creation: Part 1
In my first couple of comps, the idea was to put a fun twist on the marble notebook by incorporating expressive typography and bold color. The type and background elements were drawn digitally in Adobe Illustrator CS5.
These early versions were bright and playful, but a little young for our teenage audience. So I went for something more sophisticated . . .
. . . but this was slightly too mature. It was time to find the middle ground.
Cover Creation: Part 2
The Young Poets cover needed to strike the perfect balance between adult sophistication and youthful energy. To find this balance, I explored several design directions, experimenting with typography, graphic elements, and background textures. And as the design evolved, so did the title.
Cover Creation: Part 3
After this last round of brainstorming, it was clear which graphic elements were the strongest: 1) the pocket-sized notebook rendering, 2) the feather quill, and 3) the title type treatment, set in Filosofia Unicase.
A few more tweaks, some lines of poetry, a contrasting red background, and voila! The final cover: