After some afternoon tea, we had a panel I was pretty excited about:
Cover Versions was something a bit different. It began with Zoe Sadokierski (a designer and academic) speaking about covers, her design process and some insight into her PhD work on the relationship between words and images.
- Zoe has designed around 200 book covers including Good Oil, Beautiful Malice, Saltwater Moons and The Golden Day (check out her online folio for more - they are all stunning!). Zoe commented that she likes doing YA covers as the genre is "dark and hopeful" and reads the books before working on the covers.
- Zoe then spoke about her academic research and showed some examples of the use of the graphic device in novels like Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Unfortunately I didn't get a clear photo of any of Zoe's slides, but they were so interesting.
- Zoe discussed some of her processes for working on covers and the way design is also incorporated into the layout and typesetting. She used The Golden Day as an example of a text which uses illustrations to connect the cover to internal design.
- She commented on how many of these visual details "enhance the story".
- Tony went first and showed us some of his development sketches and discussed his process and then presented us with multiple covers, as he always does a number of options. His designs ranged from very commercial to some beautiful black and white pieces.
- Up next was Bruno was presented one, incredibly striking image which played on the nuclear disaster hook of The Apothecary's synopsis. I also thought spine design (yes, he did that too) was amazing!
- Then came Zoe, who created a cover which she wanted to have an "old feeling" without looking too retro. She also commented that she wanted to create a sense of duality on the cover.
- The panel then gave feedback on each cover and thankfully, they did not have to pick a winner. We then got to see the real cover.
- By this time, my note-taking hand and my neck were kind of sore, so I didn't write down much - plus it was nice to just listen to Ron talk about his career as an illustrator.
- I have to say that I wasn't very familiar with much of Ron's work before this session, but it was still interesting to hear him speak about some of the issues he faced working on books like Fox, the way he payed homage to his grandparents house in Midnight Cat and how he found inspiration for Honey and Bear in his own backyard.
- Ron ended the session by showing us a few sketch from a new story he is working on entitled The Coat.
- The food was really, really good.
- I was so thrilled when the lovely Aimee Said came up to me in Storey Hall and sat next to me for the whole day, and I was stoked to finally meet her (and was kind of massively fan-girling on the inside).
- Also spotted (and got to say a brief hello to) Kate and Dugong Lady.
- Had a quick chat with Adele, who had taken over MC duties for the afternoon and did an awesome job.
- Spotted Amra Pajalic and Cath Crowley (who in my head, I still often refer to as Miss Crowley from my high school days), as well as soon-to-be-mega-author-star H.J Harper.
Overall I had a great time and I feel so lucky to have been able to attend and hear some of my favourite authors speak, as well as get to spend the day in the company of hundreds of other people who are passionate about childrens and YA books.
Links you should check out:
Centre for Youth Literature
Inside a Dog
Read Alert blog
Reading Matters tweets
Amra Pajalic's wrap-up of Reading Matters Day 1