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A book design for David Kalis: Vodka Shot, Pickle Chaser.
Published:
VODKA SHOT, PICKLE CHASER
 
I had a blast designing this cover for David Kalis — for his memoir detailing his experiences during the fall of the Soviet Union. I love working with memoirs, because reading them has an added bonus: it helps me learn a little more about the person I'm working with, and have a better understanding for where they're coming from.
The book cover.

David had lots of fantastic pictures from his time in the Soviet Union. And there's a temptation to choose just one or two, to stand in for the actual feel of his memories there.

But there is no one photograph that can do that.
 
Memories are a tapestry of people, places and moments, and they don’t exist in a vacuum—they must be taken all at once for the full experience. We’d like those finding their path in life to be able to look back on a tapestry like that. We want them to be unafraid to build that tapestry for themselves.
 
We begin by not choosing one photograph, or even a couple—but 16. Which, taken together, form a new tapestry…
 
…and because that tapestry builds a foundation for our experience, we define that experience right across the top of it.
 
We lay type directly over the images according to theme—at top, the Vodka Shot: exciting, in-flux, new. Proof of change.
 
Below,  images from Shepatovka, as Pickle Chaser: rural, calm, warm, old. Proof that things can remain.
The entire treatment is then rotated and scaled to create ‘interesting fit’ within the cover dimensions, which further keys to story themes. It is also made to run over into the bleed area and spine,  to visually represent knocked-down boundaries.
Agency’s bold face is chosen for the primary title type, chosen for its forceful directness and utilitarian form. It keys lightly to propoganda poster design, or letterforms made of tape.
Gill’s light face is chosen to complement it. Its open, wide airiness is meant to provide contrast with Agency’s heaviness, and keeps it from becoming overpowering. Gill is used for the subtitle and for the author’s name.
Here's a 3D view of the design, including the spine. Note that the title is askew and runs over into the spine.
This was a video I made to further express the idea behind this design. 
Phillip is a terrific collaborator and someone who can add value to any creative project. His dedication to understanding the motivations behind the work is impressive, and for me, led to outstanding results.
 
David A. Kalis
And here's a page from the interior. 
THE AUTHOR
 
You can find out more about David and his book at his website: davidakalis.com.