The Afterword
The Afterword
The Afterword
The Afterword

The Afterword

Pantheon Books, New York, New York, 2004


The premise of this book is that it is the afterword for a best-selling novel that has, in reality, never actually been written. It was felt that the best way to convey this was to make the book into an object that somehow spoke to or conveyed that this book was neat, clever and unusual, regardless of content.

After settling on a design for the interior, I set out to wrap the book in some sort of eye-catching but appropriate jacket. I finally decided on the idea of the radiating-light theme. The book is about an unrealized, formerly agnostic Messiah. Now hiding and confused, he’s unknown to the world, except to his four-year-old son and of course his estranged wife, who thinks he’s insane.

We did entertain for a while the idea of having the jacket wrap around itself and seal shut, like a Bible. But that proved to be not cost-effective and ripe for potential damage, which would mean returns and unhappy booksellers. The idea of printing the jacket and subsequently the books in three different colors was born out of indecision rather than a marketing ploy. I couldn’t decide which color I liked best, so I presented all three. This was seen as the clever gimmick needed to make the book stand out above the rest.

Collections: 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2004
Repository: Denver Art Museum
Discipline: Book design
Format: Book cover


Design firm
Pantheon Books
Art director/designer
Archie Ferguson
Jacket designer
Archie Ferguson
Lynd Ward
Production director
Andy Hughes
Production coordinator
Avery Flück
Mike Bryan
Edward Kastenmeier
Pantheon Books
Trim size
4 1/8 x 6 1/4 inches
Bank Gothic Medium/De Vinne
Jacket printer
Coral Graphics