The Chess Machine

The Chess Machine

gray318, London, England, 2007


I decided from the outset that with a title like The Chess Machine, the cover should be black and cream. Silhouettes would lend a sense of period, and cogs would give me some interesting shapes to play with. My favorite part is the chess-piece teeth on the central cog. Some would say I should have gone for the classic Sicilian Defense, but I’m with Kasparov: the Grünefeld wins every time.

Juror Notes

Chess and machinery provide inspiration here. The cover feels part Alice in Wonderland, part marionette theater: enigmatic and darkly suspenseful.

Collections: 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2007
Repository: Denver Art Museum
Discipline: Book design
Format: Book cover


Design firm
Art director
Darren Haggar
Jon Gray
Trim size
6.25 x 9.5 inches