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November 1, 2011 / matthas

Invincible, Indiana – book cover artwork

A recent joint venture with my friend Nate Dunlevy has produced for me yet another portfolio piece.

Nate contacted me a few months ago about doing the cover for a book he’d written about “small town basketball”, as he described it in the initial email. Keep in mind that my basketball experience roughly amounts to sinking two free throws in a junior high game. Two. In a row. Pretty epic, right? So I was somewhat leery that I’d be able to make a connection with the book that would help to get the best visual results.

I’m not a fast reader, but he sent me the manuscript* on a friday… and I finished it that sunday.

*Design clients: take note, this is how you treat design – not as an afterthought, but as an integral part of the entire process… (steps down off soapbox).

Original sketch and final cover after the jump…

Nate’s passion is contagious, and it comes through in his writing. If you don’t already know this from reading 18to88, you will after reading Invincible, Indiana.

Set in 1996-1997, Invincible, Indiana explores the myths and motivations that led to the demise of the ‘single class tournament’ that was the bedrock of Indiana mythology.

As you can see above, we managed to keep the final cover very close to the original concept – right down to the slab serif title. Even the angle of the ball seams is nearly spot on, which I just now noticed myself. Credit for the photography goes to Tara Gornik, who clearly knocked it out of the park.

I’m not a licensed book critic, but I highly recommend this book. Fantastic writing? Check. David vs Goliath? Check. Intriguing plot? Check. I could go on, but trust me, you’ll love this book.

Invincible, Indiana is now available for pre-order and is slated to be on Amazon a week from now. And if you’re anywhere near the Indianapolis area, the Indianapolis Colts Grille is hosting a book release/signing party in a couple weeks. More details at 18to88.

Thanks to Nate & the Invincible team for the opportunity to be a part of a such a great project.


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