Amanda Rainey is a graphic designer from Perth who designs books for Twelfth Planet Press and FableCroft. When she’s not designing books she is either: working on a PhD looking at election campaigns, working as a freelance graphic designer for clients who have slightly more money than Australian small presses, or – most likely – talking nonsense on Twitter.
1. You designed the striking cover for Kaleidoscope, the brand new YA anthology about diverse characters that will shortly be released by Twelfth Planet Press after a crowdfunding campaign last year – what was your brief for the project, and how did you get to the final design?
Kaleidoscope was such an exciting/terrifying brief! It’s such an exciting book, and important too – a lot of people were (literally) invested in it so I really wanted to get it right. The brief was that they wanted something that would fit a truly diverse book, both in the sense of the characters, but also the themes and styles of each of the stories. So, quite a bit of (terrible) freedom…
It needed to appeal to YA readers, and stand out on a bookshelf next to other anthologies, so there’s always that question of how similar and how different you should be from all the other books!
The first thing I did was rule out using faces or people. It was kind of a gut instinct, but using faces just creates so many problems when you’re making a book about diverse characters. There’s a danger that you just end up treating faces as “paint chips”, which would have absolutely not been giving proper respect to the book’s purpose.
Finally I just channelled my 16 year old self, and tried to make something she would like. I started playing with the idea of “sugar and spice”, and how just in that concept, which seems to imply that all girls are the same, when really – spices! – there’s so much variety there, right in the phrase.
I messed with the colours to give it more of an alien feel in keeping with the SF/Fantasy themes. Plus, hello, it’s Twelfth Planet Press. It always had to be pink! Then I just spent 1298 hours aimlessly changing the proportions and the patterns until I was happy/the print deadline arrived.