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Here Is Where We Disembark

Clea Roberts is a poet from Whitehorse and this forthcoming collection focuses on the North, incorporating historical threads and ecological concerns. We came to a consensus that the cover should be sparse, cold, speak to both the past and present, and possibly incorporate landscape or water.

While reading the manuscript, I recalled a black + white photo series I did a few years ago with my old Pentax SLR. It must have been mid-November and I was lucky enough to witness (and capture on film) a lake freezing over. I set up a tripod on the dock and took a new shot every couple of hours over the course of two days. The water was still open on the first night (really cold…) and by morning, the surface had started to ice over.

A contact sheet for one of the (many) rolls of film:

I made two covers using these negatives:

Some blatant product pushing for Kodak:

They both represent the book nicely. The reader is first greeted with an environment that is unknown, isolated, and a bit haunting. The publisher picked the first, more simplistic cover. (Reinforcing a typical industry standard: When presented with multiple options, the client will almost always pick the designer’s least favourite design. So don’t show anybody anything you aren’t completely happy with, exclamation point.)