El Elefante del Museo

BOOK DESIGN: Art direction and cover design

Publishing house: Nido de Ratones
Title: El taxidermista, el duque y el Elefante del Museo
Author: Ximena Maier, Illustration and texts
Editor: Paula Fernández de Bobadilla

One afternoon Paula Fernández de Bobadilla, great editor of Nido de Ratones, wrote me an email, commenting that she had another book “half layout”, illustrated and written by the magnificent Ximena Maier, which needed to be given art direction and the cover design.

The gut of the book was already organized with all the text and images on their corresponding pages. Paula, who has an excellent typographic sense, had done an excellent job and had selected the Bookman Old Style for the text, a very beautiful classic typeface and with a lot of readability, appropriate for a children’s picture book.

I got down to work immediately. I added headlines and capitulars, rearranged the content on some pages, created the stamps with the dates, retouched some illustrations to homogenize shades and colors throughout the book, and prepared the final artwork for printing.

I have always felt sorry for picture or children’s books in which the text is a joyless block in a corner of the page, I feel sorry for a great missed opportunity to play with the text and create interesting shapes that attract the eye by creating a reading pattern, so I added movement by forcing the reader to wander through each page and thus help tell the story in a way in which text and illustration work together in a harmonious and enjoyable way.

Designing book covers is one of the things I have enjoyed doing the most in my career as a graphic designer. For the cover of this book I proposed to use a wonderful illustration by Ximena, in which the taxidermist (Benedict) is at work on the elephant, and I imitated the typographic game that Ximena had created for the first page of the book. To the background we gave a pumpkin tone, at the always wise suggestion of the editorial board of wise women, and we ended up obtaining a result that we all love: