Cover Stories: Interview with Regina Roff

Regina Roff designs book covers for Bloomsbury/Walker, and she was the one who created the final version of Lauren Baratz-Logstead's Little Women and Me (read that Cover Story from Lauren's POV). Now Regina's here to share her side of that cover's story, and share a few other covers she's been working on (like that gorgeous one at left):

"When I came onto Little Women and Me, it was already started by another designer. It was one of the first books I worked on at Bloomsbury/Walker, so it was a really exciting project for me. The art director explained the story to me loosely and showed me a few of the original cover comps (like the one posted below, right). The team liked that direction but they also wanted to see some other options.

"So, I sat down and read the story, to get a feel for the tone, mood, etc of the novel. I was instantly transported into the world that Lauren Baratz-Logsted created! I wanted to capture the feeling of being from the outside looking in on this classic story of LITTLE WOMEN. At first, most of my cover comps were similar to what had already been tried: they featured images of girls reading, etc. Then I thought it'd be interesting to see the main character sort of 'spying' on the characters in LITTLE WOMEN. I had a few options where a girl pulled back a curtain on a scene of LITTLE WOMEN, but they didn't have the impact I was hoping for. After looking and looking for more 'spying' images, I ended up finding the image on the final cover, the girl popping through a piece of paper. That's where everything started coming together, with the original LITTLE WOMEN artwork and the modern girl coming through the page.

"We worried that the unaltered LITTLE WOMEN artwork would make the book look oddly anachronistic, so I played with ways of making the art look more modern. I did a lot of Photoshop with creating 4 color separations, half tone dot screen patterns, and then splicing it all back together again. [um...Design speak redacted; translation: MAGIC!] It was my little design tribute to my love of pop art and Roy Lichtenstein. I liked the result because it almost looked like a colorized negative of the original art, so you could read the final image as the girl coming out of the book or the girl looking into the book. Originally, the main character was popping out over the faces of the LITTLE WOMEN characters (I thought I was being clever with a visual metaphor about how she 'becomes' a character, haha!) but the team thought it made the artwork less recognizable. In the end, I'm glad we ended up composing the image the way we did because it definitely makes it feel like the main character is an 'addition' to the LITTLE WOMEN cast of characters!

"Some other fun covers I've designed for Bloomsbury and Walker are Alexandra Harvey's latest Drake book BLEEDING HEARTS and the bind-up of the first 3 books, RULING PASSION (below). Those were great fun for me to work on because I love, love, love the Drakes, and I especially love Lucy. (Lucy and I have the same hair cut and cat eye glasses, not to mention a bit of a preoccupation with slaying vampires.)


"Most of the covers I've worked on won't be hitting the shelves until the Spring or Fall of next year, but those include Trish Doller's SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL, Allison Rushby's SHOOTING STARS and Amy McAuley's VIOLINS OF AUTUMN (all shown below).


"(Full disclosure: I almost missed getting off the bus during my morning commute because I was so engrossed in reading a draft of VIOLINS OF AUTUMN when I was conceiving the cover design. It's THAT good!!!) There are a LOT more coming out in the Fall, but they're not ready yet."

Thanks, Regina! It's really interesting to hear things from an Art Department perspective, and these covers you've been working on are lovely! What do you guys think?