Will Bueché

»

Art Direction: Book Covers

Are you looking for my blog?
   

Intro


I originally designed websites but found that the permanence of book covers was more satisfying. In designing book covers I endeavor to find the voice of the client's book and ensure it is expressed effectively on the cover.

I should mention that I don't update my website very often. I try to add new cover art when I get the chance.

 

Contact


If you are self-publishing a book I welcome your inquiry about my cover art services.

 

Personality


My personality type in the Ra Uru Hu “Human Design” model is that of “Projector”. Although I am not familiar with the reputation of this model, I see some truth in the description:

Projectors do not carry energy in their own personal energy field, but instead take in the energies of others and manage it.

In my case, I’d say I take in the perspective and intention of others and I ensure it is expressed through the designated media.

Projectors have to wait to be recognized and invited into the major events in life... If an invitation feels good for a Projector and he accepts it, he channels an enormous amount of energy and power into that situation.




Portfolio

Sacred Encounters (2017 reissue)

Revisiting one of my earliest book covers for a new edition was a most welcomed opportunity.

Nine years earlier I'd been provided with a rendering of a woman's face covered by Sanskrit text - a good concept but poorly executed.

  preview
  The cover art of the 2007 edition and the new photo that made the remake possible
   

We decided to recreate the original cover in a more photorealistic manner.

I was able to remap the Sanskrit text from the original cover onto a new photograph (from iStock) of a woman holding her head and neck in a nearly identical pose. The author expressed the wish for the face to point in the opposite direction, which meant the Sanskrit would also be reversed; we felt this was acceptable since one could interpret the Sanskrit as emanating from within her body rather than being projected onto its surface.

The eyes of the woman in the new photograph were closed, but in another image from the same photo session her eyes were open, so I was able to transpose the open eye. I reduced the length of her eyelashes to be more natural and less fashion-esque.

To place the woman in a realistic environment I added a forest background and shifted it slightly out of focus. I also reshaped a couple of the trees which had distracting branches.

My penchant for unusual eye colors continued in this cover, with a pink hue that could be thought of as reflecting the pink dawn sky, but could also indicate that this is a magical, surreal moment. In the nighttime light, one may not even notice that the photograph of the woman was black & white - the slight hues on the skin are all added.

The back cover synopsis layout and the choice of cover fonts are in keeping with my design for the author's previous book (see The Dark Face of Heaven, below) and the books of her colleague (see below).

 
Client: Janet Colli, Ph.D. (2016)
Art Direction: Will Bueché
Elements:

“sleeping woman profile” and
“pensive female profile” (replacing the closed eye with an open eye)
©2015 iStock/lekcej
“Milky Way” (treeline)
©2013 iStock/Surachet Meewaew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




The End of Homo Sapiens
and the Birth of a New Species
The cover of The End of Homo Sapiens is similar to the one I did for The Dark Face of Heaven; Beck liked what he'd seen on Colli's cover.

The author and I selected an image of a wireframe head (by Andrew Ostrovsky, iStock's agsandrew) that was close to what the author wanted. But where it originally had a series of numbers spiraling out of the forehead, we substituted galaxy NGC 1232 (photographed by the European Southern Observatory), blending it into Ostrovsky's original as seamlessly as possible.

The head ended at the cheekbones (it also did not include the top of the skull), so I put a curved black edge along the cheeks (subtly suggesting a veil being lifted away from the face) and faded the top. The eyes went through several iterations; click to see the changes the eyes went through. You can see how the cover evolved by clicking here.

I selected a font that reminded me of an Arthur C. Clarke book cover, and to deal with the epic-length title (12 words!) a couple of the key words were emphasized. The titles and credits were lined up into a strong vertical rectangle to compensate for the face being only a horizontal slit.

Client: Thomas Beck, Ph.D. (2015)
Art Direction: Will Bueché
Elements: “Toward Digital thought” (face)
©2014 iStock.com/agsandrew
“Spiral galaxy NGC 1232”
©1998 European Space Agency (ESO)
Author Photo
©2014 Joseph



The Dark Face of Heaven

The art direction concept for The Dark Face of Heaven arose from hearing the title and reading the synopsis.

 
  The second head was repurposed as shoulders
   

The fractured statue image was selected from iStock and extended to include shoulders by fusing it with a related image by the same artist.

A red third eye and smoke effects were added. I selected red (or violet) for the third eye in an effort to evoke the concept of trauma, and to subvert the expectation that holy light would be blue.

Includes title exterior title/text elements. The title on the spine illuminates the word “Dark”, again to subvert expectations. Barcode added later by publisher. A wide version of the cover was also prepared for a possible audiobook.

 
Client: Janet Colli, Ph.D. (2014)
Art Direction: Will Bueché
Elements: “Shattered Head” (head) and
“Shattered Mind#2”
(repurposed as shoulders)
©2008 iStock.com/morkeman
“Sparkly Purple Background”
(used as third eye)
©2012 iStock/Vaara



Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens  

The cover for the 20th anniversary edition of Abduction matches the style of its sequel, Passport to the Cosmos (designed by Kam Wai Yu), to make it evident that they go together (despite being from different publishers!).

  preview
  Designed to complement the cover art of the sequel, Passport to the Cosmos (designed by Kam Wai Yu)
   

An iStock image was selected that evokes winter, just as the cover of the sequel evokes spring or summer. Both covers have the same fonts and a similar horizon line.

The cover image of a winter forest was left almost untouched, with only the addition of stars (or snowflakes) into the crevice of sky, lengthening the road, and color adjustments. For added consistency with the winter theme, the author portrait features Dr. Mack in a winter coat - a Polaroid outtake from a magazine shoot which had long been pinned to a bulletin board in the author's office.

 
Client: John E. Mack Archives LLC
for Simon & Schuster
(2014)
Art Direction: Will Bueché
Elements: “Winter night scene”
©2006 iStock.com / Dreef (Dainis Derics)
Author Photo
©1994 Richard Mitchell
Note:

Used for the Kindle and iTunes ebook editions released in 2014.
Regrettably, for the physical edition the publisher retained the much-criticised original 1994 cover art (of a hand bathed in blue light) against the wishes of the author's estate. Similarly, the publisher deleted the words “Revised Edition” even though this 2014 edition is in fact the 1995 revised edition that readers had been requesting.




Web of Souls

For Michael Cohen's book about “how technology and spirituality are converging” I superimposed the traditional spiritual symbol known as “The Seed of Life” (see Wikipedia) onto a stock image of a synthetic hand reaching out to a human hand. Retro-futuristic fonts reinforce the theme.

 
Client: Michael H. Cohen (2010)
Art Direction: Will Bueché
Elements:

“Contact”
©2007 iStock.com/joruba

“Seed of Life” symbol
(public domain)

Note: (not yet published?)



A Friend of All Faiths

Directed by the author to use a particular photo of himself which was taken on an island that features in the story, I set about evoking the sense of a memento and a diary by making the photo appear to be a print resting on ruled writing paper with a handwritten-like font for the subtitle. Hints of the beach wrap around both sides. I tried to reduce the size of the billowy clothing; in retrospect I should have reduced it more.

 
Client: Michael H. Cohen (2005)
Art Direction: Will Bueché
Elements: Photo provided by author



BACK FLAP BACK COVER SPINE FRONT COVER FRONT FLAP

Sorry about the small image size - because I was not involved in the production of the final sleeve (the addition of titles and synopsis etc.) I do not have a larger image.
 Sacred Encounters
Client: Janet Colli, Ph.D. (2007)
Art Direction: Janet Colli, Ph.D. and Will Bueché and Xlibris
Elements: “head-with-Sanskrit-script” provided by author
Notes:

The author provided the “head-with-Sanskrit-script” image, to which I added lightning and selected the Buddhist color scheme (the deep maroon and yellow). Publisher added the titles and text. I am not responsible for the horrible “cut out” appearance of the author portrait on the back cover.

 

 




SKETCH PROVIDED BY AUTHOR MY COVER ART BASED ON AUTHOR'S SKETCH
 The Legend of 'The Nine'
Client: Jenna Orion (2000)
Notes: The author provided a black & white illustration (above left) and asked me to remake it into a more colorful image while retaining every exact detail of the original. (Title and author info later added by publisher.)
Elements: Black & white illustration provided by author
 

 

 

 

 

 





Related

Passport to the Cosmos: Commemorative Edition

In 2008 I was honored to have the opportunity to contribute to the publication of a commemorative edition of Passport to the Cosmos by the late Dr. John Mack, who I worked for from 1999 until the time of his death in 2004.

The cover art was designed by Kam Wai Yu.

The interior was enhanced with illustrations, photos, and new content. My work on the project included soliciting artwork from Dr. Mack's clients for use on the interior pages, and scanning and cleaning the artwork and rendering it into greyscale.

To select the best quotes to accompany the drawings, I not only drew from the book itself but also from the source interviews that had been used by Dr. Mack in his writing of the manuscript, with an ear towards finding the kind of quotes that most engaged Dr. Mack's interest.

I also studied the reviews the book had received when it was originally published in 1999, extracting the best lines for use as critical raves on the back cover.

Additionally, I contacted Budd Hopkins (a colleague of Dr. Mack's) for a new endorsement that acknowledged Dr. Mack's passing, to reinforce the fact that this was a commemorative edition.

And lastly, I was entrusted with the unenviable task of proofreading. (I would like to acknowledge my partner in this project who prefers not to be named but whose efforts complemented my own.)

Client: Kunati Press (2008)
Art Direction: Kam Wai Yu
Note: The Kunati Press edition (2008) also appears as the White Crow Books edition (2011).