This was an unusual project from the UK for The Folio Society, who produce beautiful reissues of classics, history and scholarly works.
These are covers for a three book boxed set, to be silkscreened in gold on black cloth, and are a historical work about the period from 0-400 a.d.
The art director wanted me to utilize the amazing patterns from this period, mostly created as mosaics by the Romans. They had to be historically accurate, but reformatted, with each book given it's own animal symbol.
I was excited to try and understand these patterns, but as I began in on them I realized I was in deep! I figured that some monks spent years creating them, and I had but a week and a weekend to draw them.
The hardest one to figure out was the rotating triangles (horse). I had to use good old math (which I'm terrible at) to plot out the measurements.
Below is some line art. I usually just cram all of the seperate elements onto a sheet of board and then tool it all together on the ol' iMac. I had to avoid drinking coffee before doing this one!
Amazingly, as I was working on this, someone sent me this picture of a crop circle from the UK in 2000. I applaud whomever made this crop circle, in the complete darkness, in mere minutes, in pouring rain and in the middle of the night - whether it was an alien or a hoaxer, I'm rather deeply impressed.
Aerial image by Ulrich Kox from Connector 2000 Archive
A final challenge was to make sure that these patterns lined up properly with each other's spines, so that they'd be harmonius when looked at in their box together. It created pretzels in my mind, but I finally was able to massage it all together.
It was also a nice luxury to not to have any type on the covers. Here they are in completion.
The art director plucked out the lion for the slipcase. Hail Gaius Julius! I'm actually looking forward to reading these as I'm a big fan of learning more about this period of history.