William Shakespeare: The Man Behind the Genius

William Shakespeare: The Man Behind the Genius

Little, Brown and Company, New York, New York, 1999


Countless biographies of Shakespeare have been published and most of them tend to resort to very expected cover solutions. I wanted to avoid all the obvious clichés—the redundant old scripty type solutions, the quill. The challenge was making the imagery instantly recognizable and making it look modern yet authoritative.

Since the title of the book was William Shakespeare, I thought that since Shakespeare was a recognizable face there was no real need to state the obvious by repeating his name on the cover. The subtitle could easily be placed on the spine (and it was). Laurie Rosenwald (the illustrator) was chosen for her ability to capture a likeness and her beautiful informal line quality. Add some orange, yellow, a little silver foil and voilà!

Collections: 50 Books | 50 Covers of 1999
Repository: Denver Art Museum
Discipline: Book design
Format: Book cover


Design firm
Little, Brown and Company
Art director
Michael Ian Kaye
Rymn Massand
Laurie Rosenwald
Anthony Holden
Trim size
6 x 9 1/4 inches
Little, Brown and Company