Keely O'Shannessylink to Book Design indexlink to Other Miscellany indexlink to Infospacer
24 AUGUST 2012
I've just finished designing a cover for a new novel called THE PHOENIX SONG to be published by VUP in September. The artwork
(the woodcut of the violinist and protesters) was supplied – it's by the author's nephew James Chen-Wishart. The brief was for the
cover to reference Chinese propaganda posters, but it also had to have a romantic quality. We ended up going with the more pink
version (as it seemed to better achieve that politics/romance cross) but I also liked it less pink and more graphic-looking.

The Phoenix Song cover design cream option The Phoenix Song final print version
13 AUGUST 2012
The EAT YOUR WORDS cover has gone off to print. A few improvements were made since the first round of roughs.
Sadly all of those little flourishes and swirls around the title were vetoed, but otherwise this is the finished version.

Eat Your Words cover
07 AUGUST 2012
Another poetry cover I've been working on recently is for C. K. Stead's new collection – THE YELLOW BUOY (to be published
by Auckland University Press early next year). Here are a few first rough design variations.

The Yellow Buoy first rough cover design variation The Yellow Buoy cover roughThe Yellow Buoy rough cover designThe Yellow Buoy rough cover
10 JULY 2012
I've been working on a cover for a collection of poetry called EAT YOUR WORDS. The brief was for the cover to reference
Wellington cafe culture and, in particular, the new Coffee Supreme branding by Hardhat Design (which, luckily, I love!).
Here are some of the first roughs. The last one is my favourite.

Eat Your Words rough 2Eat Your Words rough 3Eat your Words rough 4
07 JULY 2012
FROM MANOA TO A PONSONBY GARDEN has gone off to print. This was one of those covers that took a little while to get right.
I found Kevin Keaveney's beautiful photograph of the Ko'olau mountains on Flickr quite quickly and knew it was perfect. It reminded
me of some of Albert Wendt's paintings and seemed to perfectly capture the description in his poetry:

Every day I stand on our front veranda
and   on acid free paper   try and catch their constant changing
as the sun tattoos its face across their backs

Some mornings they turn into tongue-
less mist my pencil can’t voice or map
Some afternoons they swallow the dark rain
and dare me to record that on the page


However, it took a little bit longer to get the typography and composition right. I wanted to reference Wendt's 'poetry drawings'
(which feature in his book) but it was a bit tricky to make rough, hand-painted type work with the photograph. Here is the
cover in progress and the final cover.

From Manoa to a Ponsonby Garden roughFrom Manoa to a Ponsonby Garden final cover

30 MAY 2012
I am thrilled that one of the books I worked on last year for Auckland University Press – A MICRONAUT IN THE WIDE WORLD
– has been shortlisted for 'best Illustrated book' in this years PANZ book design awards.

22 MAY 2012
I have been painting lots of bits of type for a poetry cover I'm working on at the moment for Auckland University Press
– FROM MANOA TO A PONSONBY GARDEN by Albert Wendt. Here are some samples.
11 MAY 2012
Here are a bunch of different ideas for a cover I'm working on at the moment for Little Island Press. The book
is a novel from French Polynesia called THE MISSING KING. It's about a mute savant chess player from the Marquesas.

The Missing King cover ideaThe Missing King cover ideaThe Missing King cover ideaThe Missing King cover ideaThe Missing King cover ideaThe Missing King cover design ideaThe Missing King cover idea

04 MAY 2012
Another cover for Awa Press has gone off to the printers. This time it's a TV tie in edition of Justin Paton's
award winning book HOW TO LOOK AT A PAINTING.
How to Look at a Painting TV tie in cover design
30 APRIL 2012
I have been designing lots of different covers lately. Here is one I've been doing for Random House – it's for a teen novel
by FLEUR BEALE called THE BOY IN THE OLIVE GROVE. It's always nice to get the opportunity to do something illustrative!

front cover design for The Boy in the Olive Grove Detail of cover illustration for The Boy in the Olive Grove
09 MARCH 2012
THE DARLING NORTH cover has gone off to print. It features details from Megan Campbell's painting
Here There and Everywhere
which was such a lucky find – it's perfect for the book and I just love her work.
The stripes on the spine, back and inside cover are inspired by another one of her paintings – Nursery.

The Darling North cover print fileThe darling North inside cover design
23 FEBRUARY 2012
The lovely team at Awa Press have asked me to design a cover for Jim FLynn's new book FATE & PHILOSOPHY.
This is a companion volume to his best selling book THE TORCHLIGHT LIST so it needs to have a similar aesthetic.
I have spent the last couple of days scouring image libraries for the perfect photograph (which is never easy to find!).
Here are a couple of the first roughs (since we used yellow for Torchlight, I am thinking we should use magenta and
cyan for the next two – there are to be a total of three books in the series).


15 FEBRUARY 2012
Over the past couple of days I have been working on the cover of a poetry book for Auckland University Press –
AT THE WHITE COAST by JANET CHARMAN (to be printed April 2012). Here are some of the first roughs.

At the White Coast front cover roughAt the White Coast front cover roughAt the White Coast rough 1

   
    15 FEBRUARY 2012
Finally I am back at work and my new website is live!