EXCLUSIVE Designing the cover for Tigerman

Designing the cover – Tigerman by Nick Harkaway

Nick Harkaway is the highly acclaimed author of The Gone-Away World and Angelmaker . Tigerman is his new novel about ex-colonies, superheroes and paternal love. His UK publishers have created a video to show how their deputy art director Glenn O’Neill created the cover:

How does a cover artist work? Glenn O’Neill says: "After experimenting with several different cover approaches for Tigerman , I decided to take direction from a key moment in the novel, when a character smears paint on a piece of body armour to create a tiger’s face. I squeezed acrylic paint on to acetate and smeared it into striped patterns, before heightening the colours in Photoshop. The silhouette profiles of tiger, man and boy started as a lucky accident: one of my finger painted stripes resembling a tiger’s head which gave me the idea. My favourite element is the cracking detail beneath the title. I think it’s suggestive of the themes of the book; the toxic pollution that’s bubbling under the surface of the island: 'The brimstone oven deep beneath Mancreu cooked and boiled, and in its fiery heart new, strange compounds were birthed and recombined. Dismal substances unknown and unimagined steamed in the deep, and seeped and stained through cracks towards the surface, ever upward into a huge chasm.’"

Author Nick Harkaway says: "As if the cover wasn't tactile and basically seductive already, now there's a video. I cannot watch this without wanting to put my hands in a bucket of paint and slosh them over some paper. Sadly, having experimented with that process, I can report that it doesn't yield this kind of result unless you're Glenn O'Neill. I just get orange smears, as if someone has knocked over a carton of orange concentrate and then fallen on it. But that's why Glenn is Glenn. Because he does the thing with the pictures, and brings books to life."

Tigerman is out now in hardback and ebook. Find out more at www.windmill-books.co.uk or on Twitter .