behinddesign-ATPOYWe’re giving you the inside scoop on the design process for the cover of A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU by Claudia Gray!
A few weeks ago we revealed the cover for A Thousand Pieces of You and the response was so overwhelmingly positive that we asked Claudia her thoughts on the final design.
But why stop there? We tracked down the lead designer on the project, Alison Klapthor, and got the scoop on what was involved with the design and we’re even going to show you what didn’t make the final round.

Congrats on the gorgeous design, Alison! How does it feel to have the cover called “a work of art?” 

Thanks and it’s funny I guess that the term work of art is being used for this cover, but I can see it. We are used to looking at covers a lot of times that are really flat and slick, and this one references that fact that the main character is a painter, so we showed that literally with paper texture in the background and watercolors. So it’s great that it looks like ‘art’ as that was the idea!

Let’s talk about the final cover.  What would say is the overall concept for this design?

Well I mentioned the idea of nodding to the character being an artist, but also the author was really adamant about showing a visual juxtaposition of the worlds and different times in history that she travels to. This was trickier than we thought and there were many versions of this cover done before I changed directions. Previously there had been attempts to show the girl but for a few reasons it wasn’t working. We decided to really focus on the different places in time and try to make it look different from other covers that have done that. The beautiful watercolors and organic shape that the cities took to mimic watercolors gave it the beauty it needed to not look like just architecture.
(Here’s the final cover!)


What is your favorite part about this design?

I think the colors! An the richness in the watercolor paint, (which in reality is very hard to achieve). And for one, imagining this colorful Russia that looks like candy on the cover.

How many people were involved with this design and what role did they have in the final cover?

A whole team! Prior to my attempts at the cover art, there was another art director who has since left, so I inherited a folder full of attempts; I’d say about 4-5 solid comps using beautiful girls that ranged in looking kind of ethereal to close-ups on a white background with the cities superimposed on her figure. That was my starting off point actually but I was totally freed up when we decided to do away with trying to show a girl. The wonderful Craig Shields did the art, and Sarah Creech, my fellow designer here at Harper worked with a freelancer to pull the full jacket design together quickly. I should give a shout to Beth Clark who did so many of the previous great comps before I worked on this and that might become other book covers one day!

How many concepts did you go through before you finally landed on this one?

Honestly, once I started on this and hired Craig Shields, the artist, he only went through a few rounds of comps. I’m including some of his versions that we were deciding between. (See below!) Mostly they are all variations on the same theme. Craig really got the vision and had fun with it, I think. He built the futuristic version of London from his imagination and looking at cool buildings that exist in places like Dubai and Taiwan that already look like they are in the future. He lives in London, so that helped too as he built that skyline.
(Click on the images below to see them at a fuller size!)
A Thousand Pieces of You Concept Cover 1   A Thousand Pieces of You Concept Cover 2

We can’t wait to see what it will look like in hardcover. What can you tell us about that?

We are hoping to have it be overall matte since the watercolor paper texture you see in the art really wants to be matte, and then we will spot gloss the  title type to really push it forward from the art. I think it’s going to print really lovely and look like an art object in person. Stay tuned!
Read our Q&A with Claudia about the cover! ––>

What do you think about the cover? What other YA cover back stories would you like to know?


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