Cover Me (Part II)

categories: Cocktail Hour

1 comment

Here’s  a few of the possible covers that the designer came up with for The Tarball Chronicles.  Below is an interesting link where he tells the story of finding the right cover.  (And I do think it’s the right cover.)


The Tarball Chronicles | Cover Design by Tonky

Monday, October 24th, 2011 | Tonky Graphic Design


Take a gander at my most recent book cover design for Milkweed Editions. The Tarball Chronicles ($24) by David Gessner documents the author’s road trip to and around the gulf coast during the 2010 oil spill.

This was a challenging project and it took a while to zero in on a design that encapsulated Gessner’s work. You can see some of the rejected concepts below. Since Gessner asks his readers to look “beyond the oily pelican” that dominated news coverage I was tasked with designing a cover that was specific to the disaster while also not reading as cliche or “too similar” to every other image we associate with the rig explosion and subsequent months-long undersea gusher.

We settled on this collaged composition that features a monstrous BP cleanup worker with a pelican head ( courtesy of J.J Audubon) and framed out by filigrees appropriated from an early 20th century mardi gras ball invitation

thanks for looking,



Here is the address for Tonky’s website.













  1. George de Gramont writes:

    Fascinating!And definitely the right cover. Also the right book for discerning readers willing to tackle a complicated subject.