Book Jacket Designs by Colleen Reinhart
Judge a Book by Its Cover - Featuring Designs by Colleen Reinhart
Why haven't I thought of this before? Book jackets are at the intersection of my love for art and my love for books. There are artists designing these covers! It is obvious, of course, yet I never thought about the talent behind the book cover. And yet, the artist's name is printed right there on the back inside flap of the beautifully designed book jacket. So when I began reading The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin, I googled the name of the designer and discovered Colleen Reinhart. She gets the honor of being the first artist in my new series Judge a Book by Its Cover, where we get to know the artists behind our favorite book covers.
Colleen Reinhart is an illustrator and a Senior Designer at Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House. She has worked at this department for more than four years, designing dozens of covers along the way. Colleen brings an imaginative, original, and striking style to the design process, resulting in unique, colorful and sometimes playful creations that connect with and visually engage readers.
Inspiration for The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin:
When the editor presented the manuscript for The Queen of Hearts she and the author, Kimmery Martin, had a very clear idea of what they wanted: make an atomically correct heart look beautiful. With this in mind I got to work collecting vintage botanical illustrations to create a collage where they interacted with a medical drawing of a heart. The first comp I came up with is very similar to the final cover that was chosen, but it was a winding road getting there.
When this cover was first presented, the team liked the art but weren't sure it was the right choice for this book. Was the heart too gross? Was it clear enough it was about doctors? Would people relate to it without a human element? Since the manuscript I was given contained both dramatic elements as well as a lot of humor, I thought going in a more light hearted direction might be good for the second round. I tried comps that said "medicine" and "fun," but none of those covers resonated as much with people as the floral collage did.
Sales still wasn't quite sold on the cover yet, so I went back to the drawing board for a third time and created another round of covers that were more obviously women's fiction and one of those covers almost made it onto the final book. Everyone, however, was still responding most to the original cover and so we returned to the starting point-and I couldn't be happier since this is one of my favorite projects to date!