Low-Fi Sci-Fi

If the main objective of a book cover is to make you stop, pick up said book, perhaps read the back or the first few lines (and consider buying it, of course) then the new Gollancz range of science-fiction classics has certainly got something right. The ten titles stood out when I saw them on display in a bookshop earlier this week, so I asked one of Orion Books’ designers to explain the decidely low-fi approach they took to this new sci-fi series…

If the main objective of a book cover is to make you stop, pick up said book, perhaps read the back or the first few lines (and consider buying it, of course) then the new Gollancz range of science-fiction classics has certainly got something right. The ten titles stood out when I saw them on display in a bookshop earlier this week, so I asked one of Orion Books‘ designers to explain the decidely low-fi approach they took to this new sci-fi series…

“The idea was to bring sci-fi to a wider audience,” says James Jones, who worked on this particular series that uses images designed by recent graduate Sanda Zahirovic. “We wanted to create a series style that would adhere to the nature of the content – eg its complexity – but employ a hands-on approach.

“We’d recently seen Sanda Zahirovic’s work at the D&AD student awards and in working with her over a period of two weeks, we asked her to develop an existing concept into real books.

“Sanda created each cover using A4 paper, with all the typography printed and placed on the structure by hand,” Jones continues. “We then photographed each paper structure and, upon seeing the original black and white images, we didn’t feel that any tweaking or further alterations were needed.”

On closer inspection, some of the most striking covers were achieved by photographing a single piece of rolled-up or chopped-up paper or, even – as with Paul McAuley’s Eternal Light – the discarded paper circles from a hole punch. Here’s the rest of the set:

Design: Sanda Zahirovic
Creative director: Lucie Stericker
Series editor: Simon Spanton

Gollancz is Orion Books‘ science-fiction and fantasy imprint.

All the titles in the series are on sale now at £7.99.

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