The Man Behind the Nose
The Man Behind the Nose
The Man Behind the Nose
The Man Behind the Nose
The Man Behind the Nose
The Man Behind the Nose
The Man Behind the Nose
The Man Behind the Nose

The Man Behind the Nose

Meat and Potatoes, Burbank, California, 2010


Project brief: This was an autobiography not just of a man but also of one of the most iconic characters of all time. Those are some very big shoes to fill (size 83, in fact). The challenge was also to appeal to an audience that since Bozo’s inception has ranged from ages 8 to 88. It’s a book about Bozo! It had to be fun.

Approach: We found the best approach was to stick to as much “classic” Bozo as possible. The older stuff seems to be holding up over time the best. As we went through the process, it seemed like the more outrageous (within reason) and bigger we made things, the more fun and true to the man and the clown it was. As for the main image, we opted for something that was in between a photo of Larry as Bozo and the classic characterization, which conveyed a new and all-encompassing “Bozo.” It took a little convincing.

The designers worked very directly with the author and publisher to come up with something clever and exciting. That fun shows in every aspect of the book.

Effectiveness: We met Larry “Bozo” Harmon to kick off this project two days before he passed away. It was already a huge honor and pleasure to be working on a piece for such a massive icon. From that point forward, it also became a duty to help carry the torch. We weren’t stopping until the book fully represented the man and the legend.

“Just wanted to let you know that I just presented the book to Susan Harmon (Larry’s widow) and she loves the design. She said it should be submitted for some sort of award. Her only complaint was that the interior should have been in color.” —Neil Strauss

(We fought for the interior to be color all the way through. Other than that, we wound up with a fun, unmissable and unmistakable piece that fans of all ages loved the first time they saw it.)

It sold well and it looks incredible.

Juror Notes

I never considered myself a Bozo-phile, but now I’m frightened that this book could change all that. Seriously. You thought you knew Bozo, but you know nothing, my friend.

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


Design firm
Meat and Potatoes
Creative director
TJ River
Bahia Lahoud, TJ River
Larry Harmon, Scott McKenzie