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Unlike many book cover artists, Mike creates his work without thought to the packaging. That's the publisher's problem - which means its my problem.
The challenge: This anthology is meant to contain a more hardcore variety of Horror stories than is usually found in most books. Mikes imagery is perfect for what is within, so how can I add the necessary information to Mike's art without ruining the effect.
I threw font after font on the wall of this cover and nothing worked. I tried to be creative and went for gothic, acidic, 4th generation copy machine, splatter, drip, bloody, streaked ink styles and nothing looked right!
Finally I stepped back and thought of the images as something forensic, and that the type font should be as utilitarian and bland as the type one would find on a police report. That meant Courier, sure, but nothing I put on the cover didn't somehow mask the image behind it and ruin the effect.
The beauty of Mike's piece is that, for all you may think you are seeing, most of it is really subtle. What is the image in the upper left hand corner? I've no idea. The lower right hand corner is an eye looking up, that's all. What's above it? Are those two arms or only long rubber gloves hanging on the wall? The only truly horror image is the partial skull, which takes up a small fraction of the whole. I stopped trying to be overly creative and "enhance" Mike's art, and instead went with a bold Courier using white with a 50% transparency. This is one of the simplest covers I've ever designed, and it took me the longest amount of time to create it. Go figure!