Tree Abraham designed the cover of her new book Cyclettes
26 October 2022
Designing the cover of the book they’ve written must be the dream of many an author. But it is far from a simple undertaking, especially in a world where books are judged by their covers, whether they should be or not. Make a hash of it, and your title might sit unmoved on bookshops shelves.
Canadian born, New York based writer, illustrator, and book designer, Tree Abraham had the opportunity to design the cover for her latest book, Cyclettes, and I think it’s obvious the results speak for themselves.
In an article at Spine, Abraham discusses the design process, and the challenges of creating a cover as an author. Contrary to expectations, being too familiar with the subject matter of a book can present numerous, often unforeseen, difficulties:
If I was only the designer and not the author, this cover brief would have seemed easy. There is an abundance of visual and metaphorical imagery within the book to inspire highly graphic directions. But because of my intimacy with said imagery, it also posed the greatest challenge. I was hyper aware of the interior aesthetic: like a xeroxed zine or old textbook with black and white diagrams and scrap photography. I believed for a cohesive experience, the cover needed to align with the illustrative and typographic style inside, without overwhelming it. I wanted the cover to feel like a shell. Additionally, most of the imagery that I would have excitedly leveraged as a designer was quickly negated because, as the author, I knew it didn’t epitomize the core problematique.