The final cover, with a parchment treatment, also the Written in Detroit logo. This is the design named a Finalist in the Best Cover Category for the 2020 Midwest Book Awards. The winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on June 27.
Initial sketch for the cover from December 28, 2018. “I wanted to show how Detroit’s economy evolved from wagons, to steamships, to locomotives, and finally, to the horseless carriage,” says R.J. King.
Graphic Artist Stephanie King designed the wheel. “We positioned the vehicles relative to their emergence as an industry,” says King. “We added the dates and the wheel spokes of each vehicle, as well. Detroit was so far ahead in building up a manufacturing economy.”
More refinements, we added the “D” but passed on using the olde English “D.”
We added some elements of a compass.
A further refinement by Momentum Books and Hour Custom Publishing Graphic Artist Kevin Martin. The rest of the treatments are by Martin.
We tried a nickel and foil treatment.
We added a copper ring, but it didn’t make the final cut.
A little different treatment with some fig leaves.
Here Martin starts to dial in the outer ring, giving it a polished chrome look.
Bringing it all together, and yet the middle seemed flat. “My first crazy idea was to create a 3-D carbon fiber tumbler,” says King. “You enter a three-digit code; releasing a leather-strapped chrome lock. I shelved it early on, perhaps some day it will be released.”
From a real pearl, we literally added a pealesecent effect, adding depth and texture to the circle defined by the different vehicle spokes.
The finished product, what we call The Medallion. Kevin Martin, Stephanie King, R.J. King
A series of cover treatments by Martin.
Here is the original Fort Pontchartrain with different manufacturing elements.
Literally multiple engines, it was too advanced as the book takes readers up to 1900. “The book details for the first time chronologically how Detroit went from a French fort on the riverfront in 1701 up to 1900 to become the birtplace of the automotive industry,” says King. “The ‘wheels’ effect was nicely done.”
Again, these engines were developed after 1900. Cool look, though.
Here we tried incorporating the Seal of Detroit.
More engines built after 1900; dramatic blue contrasts.
Map of the Michigan Territory circa 1800.
We came across this etching, circa 1889. Artist unknown. It was the same for the etchings used in the book, the artists weren’t identified. The book itself is one of the first to be designed like a journal, with rounded corners and a red silk pagemark ribbon. Available at DetroitEngineofAmerica.com.
Here we merge the 1889 skyline with the Medallion, cool effect with the blue water and blue sky. From there, Martin fused all the elements, added a parchment effect, and produced the final design seen in the first slide. But we didn’t stop there.
In addition to the cover, we had a stamp made of The Medallion. Available in black or red ink, the stamps have been a popular feature at our book signings. Stamped and signed copies are available at DetroitEngineofAmerica.com.
With The Medallion, another popular offering is corporate stamps. For book orders of 25 or more books, we provide a 10% discount. For more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A collection of corporate stamps we’ve done for Alexander Real Estate, The Podium Group, UHY Advisors, and more.