Monday, September 25, 2006

Mathematicians in Love

I’ve often enjoyed the covers to Rudy Rucker novels. This one was designed by our fantabulous Jamie Stafford-Hill. It should hit the stands in December. The book is about two mathematicians in love with the same woman — they use cutting edge mathematics to alter reality and get the girl.

The first one is the final. The other two are slight variations on it. The warm colors were thought too feminine, and therefore limiting the audience too much. I loved the idea of the italic “N” in the earlier comp, but I liked the overall design of the final better. The geometry of the author and title type against the nautilus really seemed to go a long way in adding a sense of alternate and intersecting realities. I’m surprised that we got it approved but between the typeface, color shift, and the intersection of the title into the author, Jamie was able to maintain readability. (Oddly, the final “all bold” version is more readable than the earlier version that shifts weights at the +/- point.) I also like that the nautilus looks like a storm is on its way!

From Jamie:

I had a great time with this one...I wanted to capture some of the chaos of Rucker’s universe(s)—where graduate students exploit the fundamental connections between abstract math and the nature of reality in order to get a date—and the nautilus spiral really seemed to get that. I still prefer the original hot pink nebula chaos but I do like how it turned out, especially with the double-rotated type.

In the first comp the word “Mathematicians” uses an italic “n,” which, based
on what I remember from high school algebra, often stands in for an unknown number. I think. Anyway, it looked good.

8 comments:

dan dos santos said...

oooh!
these are beautiful!

i'd have to say though, good call on the using the blue.
the pink, personally, would turn me off right from the start.
too bad the "n" couldnt stay.

jaimie,
your covers are consistantly great...
keep it up!

Josh Jasper said...

I like the red better, as it's more romance oriented. It kills me thzt "too feminine" is a valid marketing decision, but that's more anger at society than at Tor for dealing with it sensibly.

Irene Gallo said...

We'll have to start a "Real Men Like Pink" movement.

stanko said...

Wow very nice type!

I totally agree about the italic n, would have been a nice touch. Only thing that bugs me about it is the difference in x heights. Also the narrow text column is nice too. Makes the copy so much more approachable (<-- is that even a word??) Kudos to you and jamie, very nice work!

john

tlc illustration said...

Irene, I am so very much enjoying your blog (I think I got the link off of an SCBWI bulletin). The discussions of the pre-publication processes, the featuring of various artists, their work and their links, and the general goings-on of an artistically focused New Yorker is fascinating and inspirational.

Thank you for your generosity in sharing it all!

Tara Larsen Chang

Irene Gallo said...

Thanks, John. I'll pass teh word on to Jamie.

TLC - Thanks! I know I keep saying this to everyone, but, it really helps to know that there are people out there reading. I appreciate your comments.

Justin said...

This is a totally awesome cover, and I agree with dan, good call with the blue.

rcheah said...

That is quite a cover and love the type treatment. What's the typeface used for Rudy Rucker?