There was a portion in David Giffels introduction to The Akron Anthology that sparked the direction of my design…
“We live in a place that The American Mercury magazine, back in 1962, described as “unbeautiful.” I’ve never been able to find a better word than that for this place I love more than any other place. “Unbeautiful” doesn’t mean “ugly.” It describes something that is decidedly not beautiful (even though it is sometimes) and doesn’t need to be (even though it does sometimes).
Those were the sentences I would base my concept on. I made my list of ideas on what could represent Akron. There was a lot. I decided on something I felt was “unbeautiful.” A tire. But it couldn’t be any tire. It couldn’t be a stock photo of a tire, or one off my car, or one that I went out and bought at a garage. That was cheating. I had to get a tire from Akron. Not from an Akron tire store. I had to take it from Akron. And I knew exactly where to get it—a body of water. What could be more “unbeautiful” than prying a tire out of the ground in Akron. I took a field trip to the towpath trail and after walking the trail I hopped down near the water and pulled out a tire.
I went home, emptied out as much river water as possible, photographed the tire and moved onto the typography.
I decided to do hand-done type after many tries to make a typeface work. I had some good options, but none of them felt right. Too clean, too crisp, blah, blah. So I got out my chunky charcoal pencil and started scribbling.
And there you have it. The story behind the cover.
There’s a lot of really great writing inside this book. It’s interesting stuff if you’re not from Akron, BUT fascinating content if you are from the area. Stories about Archie the Snowman, the Black Keys, Lebron James, EarthQuaker devices, and so much more. You can order a copy here…