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  • Writer's pictureIshta Mercurio

Cover Collection 7: The Astonishing Color of After, by Emily X. R. Pan

Welcome to Cover Collection, my (mostly) weekly blog series in which I wax enthusiastic about book covers that I love and talk about what makes them work for me. This is going up on a Wednesday instead of my usual Monday because I was sick as a dog last Monday, and my family was sick as a pack of dogs this Monday, and I refuse to perpetuate the damaging Work Yourself Into the Ground ideology that so many people seem to have subscribed to these days.

But since we all made it here today, can we talk about THE ASTONISHING COLOR OF AFTER? The cover, designed by Sasha Illingworth and Angela Taldone with art by gray318 (who has done A TON OF COVERS, my friends, holy everloving toast), is gorgeous:

The Astonishing Color of After, by Emily X. R. Pan

So so pretty and eye-catching...

There are three things I want to talk about here: The Bird, the colors, and the text placement.

The Bird: The fact that this is the only graphic element on the cover tells us that this is crucial to the story, but we cannot overlook the fact that not only is a bird important, but this type of bird is important. And how cool is it that the bird is almost devoid of color? Why, I wonder? This is a book with color in the title, but this crucial element is almost colorless. But to find out why the book designer might have made that choice, you have to read the book. And the way its wings are trailing, almost like dripping liquid? Almost as if this bird has been made by washing away color... It is SUCH an intriguing choice.

The Colors: I love this reverse-sunset color styling. And I love the way the bird is flying up into it. To what, you might ask? Where is the bird going? And what does it leave in its wake?

The Text Placement: everything is crammed into that bird, folks. This does two jobs: it allows the background color to be concentrated (the astonishing COLOR, get it, get it, nudge nudge wink-wink), AND it symbolically implies that this bird is carrying the weight of the story. WHICH IS SUCH A COOL VISUAL STORYTELLING CHOICE, FOLKS!

Okay, that is it for today, folks. Short and sweet. Which means, of course, that I left you all plenty to talk about. What do you think of this cover? What makes it work for you? Drop your thoughts in the comments and continue the conversation.

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