April 16th 2017
Between States 2 cover artwork official release…
Rough Image and Sean Catt are pleased to announce the official launch of the cover artwork for Between States 2 (Into a Darker Place), the sequel to Between States, Sean Catt’s debut novel of the shapeshifter series of stories featuring cougar shapeshifter Jake Palmer and wolf shapeshifter Billy Thompson.
Following on from his highly acclaimed cover design for Between States, Brighton based graphic artist Rhys Wootton has managed to surpass himself with yet another visually stunning piece of artwork for the next installment of the Between States series.
The dark brooding nature of Rhys’s cover design not only reflects the book’s storyline but also contains numerous symbols taken from the story, such as it’s depiction of the New Mexico desert, and the mysterious silhouetted portrayal of one of the characters.
The retention of the United States flag, this time worked into the desert night sky, and the title text block style from the first book, help maintain series branding (something that will be reflected in the artwork of all further books in the series).
And so, here is the finished cover art…
Front cover detail
Rhys Wootton on the creative process…
“Each book cover embodies the essence of the main theme. For the first book cover, we focused on the shapeshifting element and the fact that the cougar represents the main protagonist – Jake. I saw this as a more artistic approach than a direct representation of how I imagined the characters change their form. The swirling shapes conveys the spirit of the character and the Navajo Indians by using the same colour pallet as they do in their art and patterns, this also helps connects their culture as a reference within the artwork.
For the second book in the series, we wanted to continue the branding of the flag and use the same graphic design but the sequel is a much different and darker story. I first showed Sean a series of layouts that directly used the same branding but they didn’t hit the mark. We took a break on the artwork for a short while and I continued to think about it by working up a loose idea in the back of my head.
The second story incorporates elements of espionage, secret facilities and assassins so I subconsciously started watching old spy films as a result. I love the use of sweeping, epic panoramic landscape shots to set the location that is iconic of these films and I’m a big admirer of how 50-70’s action film posters montage the elements of the film together whilst using punchy graphical elements with illustration. We both wanted something that looked contemporary and exciting. I knew I also wanted to bring in all the elements from film noir and retro spy filmography.
The character that really stood out from the synopsis was the CIA assassin, as this person brings an instantly dynamic and dangerous element to the cover. The bold silhouette alone is enough to give the reader of a strong idea of the narrative. We wanted a wraparound cover, so the long panoramic composition is synonymous to cinematography seen in spy films and the cold, hazy mountains in the distance and barren desert help wall the horizon and provide locational context. The morphing footprints turning from human to animal is to spur the reader to track these prints from the front to the back just like the assassin. Finally, the dynamic flag in the backdrop cuts out the form of assassin, whilst continuing the branding from the first book. The flag morphing into the clouds on the back cover is also a subtle nod to shapeshifting.”