When I designed the book cover for Stevan Allred's story collection A Simplified Map of the Real World, I knew I'd have to start with a map. Not only because of the title, not only because I personally love maps, but because this collection is a world in itself, centered around the make-believe town of Renata, Oregon, a town so fully imagined, it deserves a map.
It was an exciting prospect because, whereas I love working with "found objects," utilizing and manipulating photographs in design, for this project I built the entire thing from scratch. Every river and road. Well, kind of. I based the placement of those rivers and roads on the stories in the book and on a real place in the real world - the town on which Stevan based his town of Renata. In a way, then, I was still working with "found objects" - that real town and that imaginary town - fitting things into place according to where they must go. But it wasn't until I had the whole map laid out that I found one more object for my design, the final element that pulled it all together and said what I believe the collected stories in A Simplified Map of the Real World are saying.
So, here it is.
A Simplified Map of the Real World comes out in September from Forest Avenue Press. Check out the press and news about the book here.