Book Cover Illustration, 2019
Jim Clarke commissioned me to create the cover artwork for his book 'Science Fiction and Catholicism: The Rise and Fall of the Robot Papacy'. It was a timely project, relating to what is now my longer term interest in European devotional art, particularly work created between the 12th and 15th Century.
After drafting a few rough ideas we settled on this design for a robot pope, citing the crossed keys as a symbol of papal authority and centring the battery as the source of sacred power in a technology-driven world. Jim had specifically made reference to science fiction illustrator Rowena Morrill's cover for Clifford D. Simak's 'Project Pope', so in painting the artwork I wanted to achieve a similar sense of realism, also referring to Katsuhiro Otomo's painted posters, observing the degree to which he blended realism with a stylised approach.
The final design for the cover was executed by Anthony Levings at Gylphi.
SCIENCE FICTION AND CATHOLICISM: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE ROBOT PAPACY
Written by Jim Clarke
During the project we discussed the possibility of also producing a bespoke type treatment for the cover.
I'd been very fortunate to be able to travel to Cuenca to see the Bill Viola exhibition 'Vía Mistica' which occupied four venues in the city, including three churches. Seeing Viola's work in the context of this setting was a very special experience. I was particularly drawn to a particular kind of calligraphy or typography that was used on some of the buildings, which seemed very unique to me (if anyone has any further information about the history of this type please get in touch, I would love to know more). I was further inspired by examples of religious iconography and footage and images of Holy Week in the Museo de la Semana Santa de Cuenca.
Whilst we didn't opt for this route for the final design, developing this approach to type is something that has nestled in my mind for a future opportunity.
Explorations with title type inspired by typography in Cuenca.
Experiments with title type and a complementary secondary font