I’ve always admired Fourthwall Books from afar and hoped to be able to work with them in the future. At the end of 2013 I contacted them to find out if they needed any help. They were nice enough to give me an opportunity to help with a ten-book series called “Wake Up, This is Joburg”, featuring words by Tanya Zack and photographs by Mark Lewis. I’m quoting Fourthwall Books’ description of the series as I’m unable to explain it any better:
“Wake up, this is Joburg tells the stories of ten ordinary, interesting, odd or outrageous denizens of the city of Johannesburg. Some are newly arrived, some are long-time residents, but all have found a way to inhabit urban space in unusual ways, carving out a living—and a life—in an alternative economy, flying by the seat of their proverbial pants, or working the same job in the same building for decades.”
The brief was to conceptualise a cover treatment and design which could be used for all ten books. Each cover had to look slightly different but be recognisable as part of the same series. The challenge was to design one cover which would look fresh and beautiful with each edition as these would be released over two years for people to purchase and collect. In addition, the series also needed a marketing poster.
For the marketing poster, lettering was illustrated to resemble the gritty detail of each story. For the cover treatment, a “decorative” paper stock was chosen, each book in a different colour. The cover element which tied the series together was a key photo of that particular story.
Collaboration with Fourthwall Books | Featured Photography by Mark Lewis