We recently completed the design for a new book of poetry, Memories Linked Like Oases, by Duane Vorhees for Hog Press, and imprint of Culicidae Press. This is Duane Vorhees’ fourth book with Hog Press.
In this case the author wished to use a skull on the cover. Because of the topics covered in the book (poetry, self, choices, philosophy, nature, love, politics, religion, romance time, aging, and death) we decided to use a slightly colored/fragmented image of a skull as the main focus.
The early version of the cover (below) was quite light, but the author’s feedback pushed the cover into darker territory, with yellow text. The background is a very enlarged detail of Hans Holbein the Younger’s The Ambassadors, an oil painting on an oak board showing two well-dressed characters standing by a table filled with scientific and music instruments with a green curtain filling the background. In the front a smear appears to intrude on the painting. When viewed at an oblique angle, this anamorphic shape turns into a human skull.
The detail on the Vorhees cover comes from the dark and luxurious coat of the right character, Georges de Selve, the bishop of Lavaur (see red rectangle on the reproduction of the The Ambassadors painting)