Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Adam Grano: He Just Kinda Loves the Smurfs and is Awesome at Book Design

Is it weird to do a post about a book designer? Probably, but whatevs. I read a couple of great graphic novels last night, back to back: The Smurfs and the Magic Flute by Yvan Delporte and Peyo, and You Are There by Jacqes Tardi and Jean-Claude Forest. I knew the Smurfs books were designed by Adam Grano because of his successful public appeal for the job from several months back, and I was pleased to note that Grano also did the design work for the Tardi book (I think I had known this but had forgotten until I checked again). Anyway, two great designs for these very different series. I love the bright, simple, open and easy to read look of the Smurfs books, appropriate for a series aimed at young readers. There's a little Smurf profile in silhouette near the top that indicates the number of stories you'll find inside, in this case a single book length graphic novel. The first volume had three stories and three little Smurf silhouettes. The Tardi books also have a simple, uniform design. So far all of the covers have been composed of a black and white detail from one of the interior pages, with the title and creators' names in a different colored box, in this case green. A book designer is responsible for more than just cover images, of course, and these books just have a lovely overall look that flatters the material. Just an all around great presentation. Grano also did the design for the excellent Moto Hagio anthology, A Drunken Dream, easily one of the year's best and best-looking hardcover releases. Beautiful work.


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