throwback, art direction

Celebrity Crush

With Valentine's Day coming up, I'm going through my box of past projects and posting a love-related piece every day this week. This is Day 4 of 5.

One of the first contemporary artists I fell in love with was James Jean, with his intricate drawings and innocent yet creepy subjects. Fast-forward years later to my design fellowship at Chronicle Books, and I had the exciting opportunity of working with him on a collection of postcards of his work, aptly named XOXO. I was fangirling. Hard.

The man had a vision for the entire project, and I was not going to get in the way of it! What was left to design was the back and inside cover where the requisite book info for sales, rights, etc. are placed. Past postcard collections had no thumbnails, while others were too small for my taste. I wanted people to really be able to discover and enjoy his works, and then need more. Thus, I first maximized the space to show off 3 of his designs, and then used the elements I had available to me to place the rest of the info in a way that married his designs with past postcard sets.

My other contribution involved the back of the postcards, where X's and O's alternately marked the stamp area. Given the order of his postcards, I noticed they were starting off with an O instead of an X, making the cards read OXOX instead of XOXO. I suggested it would be worth switching all 30 card backs so they reflect the title of the gift set and he agreed. The devil is in the details, right?

The result:

XOXO,
James Jean + Chronicle Books (+ me)