DesignerViews are mini, two question, interviews about design with creators whose work we admire: What have you designed that you love? And what design inspires you? This month we are featuring Erik Buckham, the fantastic designer behind the stunning Jerusalem jacket (written by Boaz Yakin and illustrated by Nick Bertozzi). From the haunting limited palette with contrasting bold, yellow lettering, to the abundance of bullet holes surrounding the characters—holes that our eyes desperately try to make sense of only to finally realize it’s hardly a pretty wallpaper pattern. The cover is so striking that you feel the tension in the story long before you even touch the pages. We’re very proud to be publishing the book and to have gotten the chance to work with Erik.
COLLEEN: What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever designed?
ERIK: I interpret this question in two ways. The first would be to answer what is the my favorite thing I have designed in terms of its artistic/design merits. This is a tough one to answer, mostly because I am a pretty ruthless judge of my own work and tend to see the mistakes and missed opportunities in everything I have ever made. It’s hard to pick something, but if I have to I would probably go with the Beasts of the Southern Wild poster I did last year. I think more than any other poster I have done it captures something truthful about the film and with a fairly simple image. I think there is something timeless about it and that is hard to achieve.
My second answer would be in terms of what was my favorite experience working on something. That would have to be the series of posters I did for House of the Devil. Growing up in the 80’s I was obsessed with horror VHS covers. I love that campy/creepy imagery. In some ways it has become sort of a lost artform. I got to relive my childhood a little bit with that one. And the client loved everything so much we ended up releasing them as a series on the internet.
COLLEEN: What’s a piece of design that gives you design chills?
ERIK: One of my favorite designers is Peter Mendelsund. He mostly designs book covers and everything he does blows me away. His work is so deceptively simple. Which is the hardest thing as a designer to achieve. How to be clear while still being smart and well thought out and somehow looking totally original. I especially love the cover he did last year for The Flame Alphabet.
You can see more of Erik’s wonderful design work at: http://www.palaceworks.net