It’s fun collaborating on covers for John Robert Colombo’s books, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Easy, of course, would be to use tried-and-true design conventions that we know will work. But no, John likes to try new things and that’s what makes his assignments interesting and challenging.
Late in the Day is the last volume in a series that JRC has been publishing at this time of the year for 10 years. Each book contains poems and what John calls “effects”.
The second half of each book is a “dream diary” for the year. The diaries often do describe the authors dreams, presented chronologically through the year, but they also contain chronicles of waking hours; appointments, lunches, speaking engagements, computer problems, author’s woes, shopping trips and so on. I have often been aware of these episodes as they have unfolded and it’s fun to see them recalled.
As the title suggests, many of John’s writings these days are coloured by the author’s stage of life. Now in his late 70s, JR’s perspective sweeps across a long life and out toward the inevitable end. His vision for the cover included sunset colours. I picked up on that and, in particular, long shadows. John wanted type only on the book’s spine, no title on the front cover. I’m not sure it works, but I contrived to have the lettering on the spine cast shadows onto the cover. The mood seems right and John say’s he’s pleased.