Below is a gallery of submissions for the 50 Watts – Polish Book Cover Contest, all pieces are a collaboration with myself and artist, illustrator, monster hunter Rob Morphy. The overall process was a great creative outlet for us to get our “design nerd” on, enjoy !
Rob Morphy -
Okay… this is the aforementioned artist, illustrator and monster hunter Rob Morphy, and as my dear friend — graphic designer, photographer and papa extraordinaire — Marc Storrs, has to get up early to support his lovely family, I told him I’d take over from here.
Marc nailed it, this contest that he stumbled across at 50 Watts has been a great chance for us to dust off our ol’ skool collaboration hats and get elbow deep in creative sweat and synthetic ink.
The process basically began with picking some “classic” books I thought would be fun to illustrate, studying a plethora of old Polish book covers (I found I gravitated toward the utterly bizarre 60’-70s era stuff… although Polish poster design has always been mind blowingly surreal… just check out some of the movie posters for “The Fly,” “Alien.” “Enter the Dragon” or even “Tootsie” and you’ll get a glimpse into a design culture that is deeply disturbing and utterly fascinating.)
After choosing a few key books for inspiration — “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “A Clockwork Orange,” “Bee Season” and, perhaps most esoterically, “The Search for Unknown Animals” by French zoologist Bernard Heuvelman’s, among others — I went about drawing the covers and slapping down the basic layout. Following that it was into the computer wherein I threw a bit of grit and age down and put the translated titles into essentially the same typefaces used in the source inspiration material… and then they whizzed off through the ether of cyberspace into the eager hands of maestro Storrs.
Marc quickly put on his wizard’s cap, which looks wicked by the way, and got to work kerning and tweaking and re-coloring and re-aging and fixing all my fuck-ups… whereupon he would send his vastly improved work back to me, where I would promptly declare he had raped the genius of my visions… swords would be drawn, blood would be shed, tears would be shared, beers would be opened, hugs would be had by all… and I would eventually concede that he rocked the balls off a dead caribou… and then I’d remind him that I knew where he lived and that if he didn’t send me that awesome new “Saul Bass” font he had found I’d burn his house down.
So thank you 50 Watts for giving two old design comrades an excuse to get down and dirty on a random, wonderful collaborative effort… here’s the samples that made the final cut… trust, there were a few aborted efforts and a couple of awesome designs that just weren’t Polish enough – damnit! But all in all a fairly cool bunch of mock covers and a great excuse to work with a brilliant buddy… as Marc previously invited you to do… ENJOY!
Design and Illustration by Marc Storrs and Rob Morphy