Tasked with creating the design for Tell it to the Bees, I had the challenge of uniting a group of disparate images and short graphic narratives into a cohesive volume. Each image or story illustrates a song, and the book includes a CD containing all of the music. I worked with the author to determine an order and develop ways to tie them together visually. The first mock up was extremely rough, but allowed me to get the scope of the project and a sense of the material:
The author wanted to the volume to be about the same size as an old 45 rpm record single. Though the content has a raw feel to it, he wanted the look to be a bit vintage and lovely. All of the artwork was black and white, but he was open to allowing me to add color selectively to portions of the book to add emphasis and increase reading flow.
Color slowly appearing at the end of this story highlights its redemption theme:
This story has two simultaneous stories, so I used color to help the reader to separate them:
I used watercolor on the endpaper images, and those colors helped to determine the color scheme for the typography:
To maximize the visual cohesiveness of the book, I had the author create some elements to use throughout. Each story has hand drawn lines, bees and page numbers tie it all together playfully:
The CD at the end has a black and white version of the colored end paper image and lines up with it.