Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Bell, The Book and The Spellbinder Original Artwork

The Bell, The Book, and the Spellbinder by Brad Strickland (continuing the stories by John Bellairs) was published in 1997 and features a wrap around dust jacket design by Edward Gorey.

It is always exciting to see Edward Gorey's original paintings from the Bellairs series. As with most of Mr. Gorey's original artwork, in person the images appear to be larger than the printed versions, when in fact they are executed 100% to the final printings. As can be seen in the image above, the painted background on this piece extends well beyond the crop marks which indicate the dimensions of the jacket and where the spine will be positioned.

Mr. Gorey usually stays close to the crop marks when painting the outside edges of the art, and the crosshatched parts of this image do just that. The watercolor background swirls and fairly bursts at the edges giving the painting a wild, stormy look. Because of this, the original artwork has much more movement than the cropped image on the printed dust jacket.

Mr. Gorey always hand drew the typography for the Bellairs covers as a separate piece of art. This way he was able to work with India Ink and have the type reversed to appear white on the final printing. Working this way allowed him more freedom to paint, while keeping the type crisp on the final dust jacket. When designing the artwork, Mr. Gorey also had to consider the practical needs of the publisher. The lower left corner of the back was left free for the UPC code, and while he hand wrote "Dial" on the spine, he had to leave room for the official publisher's logo.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amazing cover! I love seeing the original art and reading the behind the scenes info. Keep up the good work!