Shanna Compton


Designing a cover for The Sonnets

Just realizing I never posted the cover design I had talked about a few times below, based on one of Joe Brainard's.

The Sonnets by Sandra Simonds is coming out next month (Nov) from Bloof Books. Here is the cover we chose:

And it is inspired by this design by Joe Brainard, for Ted Berrigan's The Sonnets:

Joe Brainard: Cover for Ted Berrigan's The Sonnets
Gouache, 13 x 10, 1964
At first we were going to mimic it exactly, and create a gouache painting just like Joe's but with Sandra's name penciled in. But after we mocked that up and talked further about it, we decided an updated homage was better, and Sandra wanted some color too. So we incorporated those ideas and went with a digitally created cutout look, keeping the original's composition and choosing a stencil typeface. In keeping with the original too, I didn't measure anything with placing the objects in the layout, so it's paste-up in that sense, like Joe's was.

When we revealed the cover, a few people recognized the reference right away, and there's a note inside the book too. (Sandra has written about how sonnets are always copies, of the form itself and of their well known precedent examples, so this concept and the other ones we discarded all had to do with copying, including some photocopied backgrounds, etc.)

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