Postais de Inverno (Chilly Scenes of Winter) by Ann Beattie – first published in 1991 – is a novel about the children of the 60's trying to make it in the 70's. Beattie herself was proclaimed as the unofficial diarist of an entire generation, evoking the lives of feckless, young, middle-class baby boomers who came of age in the 1960s yet never really grew up, choosing instead to lug around their dashed expectations like so much excess baggage.
Like so many designs this one started off at the coffee house table – one of my most productive idea-generating locations – as a thumbnail drawing in a notebook. Well, actually that's not really accurate – it's where the form-finding process begins. Preceding this is the thought and ideas trail – distilling and converting an understanding of the text into a hunt for potencial visual interpretations and vocabularies.
Of three previous editions I discovered, two echoed the title and had opted for snowy winter images on the cover. The third avoided a literal interpretation and opted for allusion in the form of hippie style snow boots. I chose to reference a typographic language and style associated to music of the 60's and 'hippie' culture.
The original thumbnail then progressed to a larger scale pencil drawing followed by a more refined pen drawing. This was then scanned and fine-tuned digitally, remodelling certain parts (like the misspelling of Anne in the drawing!). Finally, colour combinations were tested which led to the final result.