Abrasive Technology produces many products including custom solutions that improve productivity and cost-effectiveness in manufacturing. I was fortunate enough to work with them on many projects, one being updating their company branding. I worked on digital and print applications, including literature used for their vendors and clients.
CONCEPT & IDEATION
I had the opportunity to submit a book cover for the release of Wisconsin Sentencing in the Tough-on-Crime Era by Michael O’Hear. Having spent a great amount of time in Wisconsin and multiple family members working in the criminal justice system, it was a fitting project to be involved with.
I was sent the outline along with the author’s marketing questionnaire, both of which helped give me a feel for the content, topic, and tone of the book. Due to the length of the title, the outline stated a text only design might be the best approach for the cover. The title, along with a lengthy subtitle of How Judges Retained Power and Why Mass Incarceration Came Anyway, I couldn’t have agreed more. So I chose to go along with the heavy emphasis on the text along with some type of physical imagery that conveys prison life, such as the bars of a jail cell.
Once I was satisfied with one of my concepts, I ran with it and developed it further digitally in Illustrator. I started by outlining and tightening up the composition, then proceeding to color using gradients and hues of blue. Afterwards I took the file into Photoshop and applied a blurred bokeh effect to further drop the imagery into the background as to not take away from the text going over top.
I explored different fonts, but ultimately decided on a tall and narrow font, Tungsten, to mirror the overall vertical trim of the book of 6 x 9.