Cover Breakdown: Kami Garcia's The Lovely Reckless

In case you haven't noticed, we are very excited for the October 4th release of Kami Garcia's The Lovely Reckless! Normally we spend Tuesday's Cover Breakdowns making guesses about books we are excited about based on their blurb and cover. Today we don't have to do that. Why? Because Kami and her team are ready to spill all of their secrets about The Lovely Reckless cover! Are you excited? Because we are very excited! Check out what Kami and her team had to say, then check out our colorful cover breakdown below!

Erin Stein, Publisher: The Lovely Reckless cover started with me. I knew we wanted to have something pretty, but still somehow convey the urban setting and the illegal street races. Somehow we needed to add some edginess to the cover so it was clear this was a realistic story. Kami was the first author I signed at Imprint, so I didn’t even have a design staff yet when we started the process!

I had pitched the street art look to Kami and she was for it—she’s a visual person, which is fantastic because you can discuss concepts with her before we have anything to look at. She was involved every step of the way—and she was the one who actually found our artist!

Kami Garcia: When Erin shared her initial concept with me, I was blown away! I have a fine arts background, and, while I was teaching in Los Angeles, started painting again. I even had a show of my mixed-media paintings at an art gallery at Bergamot Station. I love street art, and when Erin showed me samples of the style she was looking for, I hit Saatchi Art and Pinterest to look for artists. That’s where I found Loui Jover, the artist who created the illustration for the cover. He does incredible work and layers his images over book pages. When I showed it to Erin, she knew we could layer it over a brick wall to get the effect we wanted.

ES: I initially worked with a fantastic freelance designer, Liz Casal, until Imprint’s creative director, Natalie C. Sousa, joined the team. Liz approached Loui and got him on board. The next step was figuring out what image we actually wanted him to illustrate. Kami sent a lot of reference material for the two main characters, so we knew what they should look like and wear, and Liz and I looked for photos of couples to send as reference for poses. Should they be kissing? Were they looking at each other or at the reader?

Natalie Sousa, Creative Director: When I first met Erin, she showed me some of Liz and Loui’s work in progress that she was really excited about. I was immediately drawn to it; Kami and Erin were going for an edgy look that felt fresh! The concept and elements were all there, and with a bit of finessing we got to the final cover.

We were playing with getting just the right chemistry between the couple, hinting at the racing element, and designing an impactful title treatment. I had an idea to show the couple in the car and have the title on the hood, but in that layout we lost the chemistry. Liz had a great solution to imply the car by shining headlights on the wall. But, in the end, the group felt the car element wasn’t key to a strong cover.

ES:Natalie found the perfect brick wall to layer in and the right color combination for the spray-paint elements. We looked at a lot of colors!

KG: The team worked so hard to get every detail right. I was in love with using red for the title, but we had to find exactly the right shade of red. Imprint sent me eight test prints, and I wrapped each printout around books from my shelves. Then I put them on my bookshelf next to other books to see which shade popped. The cover design also stands out because it’s different. But my favorite thing about the cover is the way it captures Frankie and Marco so perfectly—and the combination of romance and real life they deal with in the book. It’s a dream cover.

Cover Breakdown: Kami Garcia's THE LOVELY RECKLESS

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The Lovely Reckless will be with us October 4! You can grab your copy here: Amazon | | Kobo | iTunes | GooglePlay | Omni Lit. Digital copies start at $9.99, or you can find a print copy in your local bookstore on IndieBound. And you can check out other Cover Breakdowns here