John le Carré: A Legacy of Spies
In April 2017 I was approached by the digital production company The Ink Factory and digital agency
TH_NK to create a cover design for British espionage author, John le Carré. It featured his latest
George Smiley novel, A Legacy of Spies. While the cover designs didn't make the final cut, I wanted to
share the process and proposed designs from this great opportunity. Much thanks for the art direction
provided by Phil Wilce (TH_NK) and Callum Dodgson (The Ink Factory).
As embarrassing as it was to admit, the extent of my John le Carré knowledge started and ended with
the Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy film. This drove me to dig deep into his author history and research what
had been done for his books design over the past 30 years. This included patterns, common themes
and cliches I may have wanted to avoid.
The idea of rough, 3-dimensional type struck me as a strong direction to pursue for a big trade
book of this nature. The household name would be immediately recognizable as long as it was
paired with minimal illustrative intrusion.