Role Models
Role Models
Role Models

Role Models

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, New York, 2010


Project brief: Role Models is a self-portrait of John Waters told through intimate profiles of favorite personalities, some famous, some unknown, some criminal, some surprisingly middle of the road. From Esther Martin, owner of the scariest bar in Baltimore, to the playwright Tennessee Williams, from the atheist leader Madalyn Murray O’Hair to the insane martyr Saint Catherine of Siena, from the English novelist Denton Welch to the timelessly appealing singer Johnny Mathis, these are the extreme figures who helped the author form his own brand of neurotic happiness.

Approach: Showing John Waters and his role models in a completely fresh way.

Effectiveness: Eric Hanson’s playful illustration as well as his handwriting almost mimic the line of Waters’ infamous moustache. And the burst of color in his sock is a complete surprise, much like the author himself.

Juror Notes

I had never thought to use the words delicious and John Waters in the same phrase but this jacket is exactly that. Perfectly suited to the subject; wonderfully surprising.

Collections: 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2010
Repository: Denver Art Museum
Discipline: Book design
Format: Book, Book cover


Design firm
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Art director
Susan Mitchell
Eric Hanson
John Waters