For the second year in a row, I was honored to design the book cover of the Translate Iowa Project's annual poetry collection. TIP is a University of Iowa student-led organization focused on creating "a culturally and linguistically inclusive creative platform" through cross-departmental collaboration to write, translate, and celebrate literary works unbound by any particular language.
The Client brief: "We noticed that we got two contrasting ideas from the work we have accepted this year: ones that feels a bit darker, and deal with things like lost memory, secrets, loneliness; and then, on the contrasting side, works that have more gold and pink colors, and warmer ideas about returning home and growing."
My sketchbook: sketches and distilling the essence of the sample poems into words that would guide my visual choices. The two main themes were:
darkness, lost memory + loneliness
light, returning home + growth
The client suggested imagery of the entire front cover being a closed door and the back cover being a door frame with a growing landscape beyond it. I thought this was great imagery to pair with the themes expressed in the poems, but after playing with that idea I felt the exact parameters given by the client didn't merge well with the conventions of a book cover that required placing text over the illustration such as title, author, and summary.
After explaining my decision for leaning into different imagery, the TIP team enthusiastically welcomed my alternative interpretation of a wilted / revived rose to symbolize the dark + lost / returning home + growth contrast found in the themes of the poems.