I was corresponding by email with Michael Wong, an award-winning art director and book designer based in Beijing. He was talking about a recent project he had worked on, a business book called Bubble Value at Risk: Extremestan & Procyclicality. Now, there's almost nothing in that title that I understand, and it has two words that I don't think even are words, but I like the cover image of imminent disaster, and here's why.
Usually a cover like this is pretty much completely a Photoshop job, perhaps dragging in a few stock images. The result, though professional and glossy, is like most modern CGI-based movies--unconvincing and a bit dull. But Michael Wong and his associates decided to make the whole thing as a model, just using Photoshop to tweak the final elements. I'm so envious of someone who gets to make a model iceberg and model shipwrecks, and be able to call it work!
|Making the iceberg|
|Preparing the wreckage|
|The final wreckage|
|Setting up the water tank|
|Lighting the scene|
There's more about the making of the cover here. For more stories of book designers getting to have fun doing things like burning violins, setting fire to fields, and playing with spiders, see this article in the Guardian, which was brought to my attention by the sharp-eyed Chasch.