Yehrin Tong illustrated the cover for Michel Faber's latest novel 'The Book of Strange New Things'. Commissioned by Canongate's Art Director Rafi Romaya, Yehrin's work has a quality, beauty and sensitivity that married perfectly with the cover Rafi wanted to create.
Rafi explains that "for award-winning writer Michel Faber’s first novel in over twelve years we wanted to create a jacket that was something rather special. However, the brief itself was pretty open in terms of how we could achieve this and create an iconic jacket that reflects the emotion of the novel in an original and fresh way."
"It’s a book about relationships and environments...the cover was conceived as a droplet that could also represent a human tear of both joy or sadness. I really liked simplicity and symbolism the teardrop shape gave. I wanted the teardrops to dance like a musical script and the jacket to give you a sense of wonder, a sense of possibilities – like shining a magnifying glass on a universe made up of the same stardust that created all of us. It was also a great central motif that’s a very pure icon for such big ideas."
"First visuals toyed with the idea of raindrops/teardrops, shattered lettering, metal covers even to create a very tactile object. The concept developed with the teardrop as the central icon. Texture was created through the illustration and the use of a foil to create a 'stardust' effect on the jacket."
"There's a theme of repetition and rhythm to my work" describes Yehrin, "much like a musical riff with subtle nuances, that lends itself well to the sense of undulating fluidity, warmth and emotion that we were looking for."
On finally receiving her copy of the book Yehrin said: "The final effect is mesmerising. It looks beautiful as the light changes and plays with the foil giving it a feeling of movement. The texture of the foil has a very tactile braille-like quality to it. It looks timeless, other-worldly and I'm delighted with the result."
The cover art has been really well received so far with by far the best review from the author, Michel Faber himself, who comments: “...you produced a thing of great beauty. The design is elegant, it repays a long gaze (beguilingly detailed without being fussy -- a sort of intricate minimalism), it's very relevant to the book's themes, and it's irresistibly tactile.”
'The Book of Strange New Things' is now published and available to buy from Canongate books.
Yehrin Tong is represented by Debut Art