When you grew up as a bookworm and then you decide to be a print designer and editor — and then your best friend from childhood calls you to tell you she’s writing a book — well, it’s pretty much the best day of your life.
My friend Tamera tagged me in a 7-day art challenge recently. The rules are simple: post 7 pieces of art and talk about them. So far with my posts, we’ve visited the darkroom, the newsroom, the magazine startup world, and the written word: specifically, poetry.
Today I want to tell you about book cover design. Specifically, I want to tell you about Entangled, the shockingly honest and heartfelt true story written by the girl who knew me best way back when. Amy and I grew up together, literally across the street from each other. We were the type of friends who crawled into each other’s bedroom windows (mainly because it seemed cooler than knocking), the type of friends who fell asleep on the phone together on the regular (mostly to annoy our parents), the type of friends who couldn’t wait to get home from a date just so we could relay every.single.detail to each other.
And so, as adults, when she told me over coffee one day that she had made a huge mistake, that she’d had an emotional affair on her husband and lived to tell about it, I listened as a best friend would, of course. But there was something else brewing in this message. She didn’t just want to tell me this time. She wanted to tell the world. And she wanted my help.
Editing this book became a game of tug-of-war for us. I wanted her to dish every.single.detail (of course I did), and she wanted to focus more on what she’d learned as a result. We met in the middle and woven throughout the book is a message of what true love really looks like, even the bad parts: when it hurts, how it hurts, and why we forgive. Her love and faith in God helped her through this and was a huge part of her message.
So when it came time to design the book cover, it seemed only fitting that God should be in charge of that, too. I looked to nature to see what message of engtanglement we could find there. Turns out, plenty. We found several beautiful ways to tell this story visually.
Here are the book cover options I designed for Amy’s selection:
In the end, she ended up choosing the cover with winding, strong branches. The branches aren’t unbreakable but they are solid, complicated, and they can stand up to almost anything. There are thorns but there is also strength. This was the perfect symbol for her marriage. Amy and her husband went through a tough storm but they came out stronger than they’d ever been. And I got the privilege of helping her tell this story.
Amy herself does even more creative things, including blog writing, podcasting, designing and more. Her book is only part of her creative story (you can purchase a copy here, by the way). So, that said, Amy, tag, you’re it!