(Blog Tour)GIVEAWAY & CINDER Cover Design! In-Depth interview with designer Rich Deas

Welcome to Tour Stop #12!  Today, we're interviewing CINDER cover designer Rich Deas!
Check out the bottom of this post to see the rest of the tour stops!

Welcome to A Week of Cinderella! Grab some promotional buttons for your blog HERE and stop back all week long for fun guest posts, exciting author visits (because, after all, Marissa isn't the ONLY author with a kick-ass Cinderella to celebrate!), giveaways, reviews, and a blog tour stop for CINDER! 

Feiwel and Friends Creative Director Rich Deas has stopped by to join in on the CINDER Blog Tour Festivities.  He designed the beautiful CINDER cover and gives us an inside look at what it takes to make a book jacket.

On Feiwel and Friends' Meet The Staff page, Rich states,
What inspires me most is music and other artists/designers. There are so many talented artists working in the industry today. I’m mostly inspired by concert and theater poster design. Some great studios have developed over the past few years that specialize in this area. Many of them picking up on styles of the early American pop art and giving it a more modern edge, usually with great hand-lettering, illustration, and the silk-screening process. Personally, I would not be into illustration and design if I didn’t enjoy music so much. I don’t think still lifes and landscapes would have inspired much of an art career for me. Most of my initial drawing skills and hand-lettering come from my obsession with music: mostly rock and jazz. I spent most of my school hours doodling, much to the frustration of my teachers - sorry, Mom and Dad. Basically, every textbook, notebook, and desk I encountered would be covered with my personal taste in music: different band names (ahh, the beginning of hand-lettering), illustrations of guitar heroes to Grateful Dead logos, Rick Griffin designs, etc.

Also check out my review of CINDER by Marissa Meyer right HERE!

And that's not all!  Enter to WIN A COPY after this post!!

An interview with Cover Designer Rich Deas

Did you always have the image of CINDER’s final cover in your head? It didn’t change from ARC to finished copy, but did you put together early concept work that took CINDER’s cover in a different direction?

I think from the start, the approach for the series design was to touch upon the classics. We wanted each title to stem from that, but with a futuristic spin- same as the story. Immediately with CINDER (Book 1), we picked up some common elements from Cinderella—the glass slipper—which is fairly synonymous with the story and designed around it. There were numerous preliminary comps and ideas, mostly involving the slipper but as you can see below, some did not.

 The other key element was to bring in the futuristic feel and personality of Cinder. The cyborg is such a cool aspect of the story and makes for an awesome design element. Most of the earlier comps included the same elements, but I definitely focused more on the cyborg presence. Ultimately, we scaled back the cyborg aspect to make the cover friendlier and to better resemble Cinder’s character overall. The lower portion of the leg and the glass slipper seem to represent Cinder’s very well: strong, sexy, fragile and most of all,human. The partially visible metal parts give it an edginess that makes her imperfect, threatening, but with a hint of secrecy.

The title treatment was another element that riffs on the classic “Once Upon A Time” feel. The serifs and flourishes seem to give it a strong and slightly wicked vibe as well! I think mixing the new with old creates an interesting contrast that works in a way similar to cyber-punk.

Do you have a rough idea about how the other three books in the LUNAR CHRONICLES books will look? Will you be tying them all together with common elements such as font, or colors such as red, etc.?

I’m actually reading SCARLET now (sorry, but I won’t reveal anything), so I definitely don’t know exactly how each title will look. I’ll meet with Jean Feiwel (Publisher) and Liz Szabla (Editor-in-Chief) soon to discuss initial ideas. We’ll be using the same font and the Lunar Chronicles logo to tie-in the series look. I’d like to continue to keep the design fairly simple with 1 or 2 key art-elements and use a similar background, but the stories will ultimately dictate the overall colors and art..

What was your favorite part about working on the design for CINDER?

Just being involved with a great story is a thrill for me. In many ways the story creates the cover. When I first read CINDER, I was very excited by the futuristic setting and underdog character of Cinder. The fact that I am a fan of classic fairy tales and cyborgs was an added bonus.

If you have an idea of where you’ll take all four covers in the quartet [CINDER, SCARLET, CRESS, WINTER], is there one cover you’re most excited to work on, one that is a potential favorite of the four?

I do have some initial thoughts, but I really need to read the manuscript and sit with Jean and Liz to discuss ideas for comps. From afar, I’m most excited to read and work on WINTER because it is based on my favorite fairy tale. My dad took me to my first movie, Snow White when I was about 6 or 7, and I still remember it vividly. It was also the first movie he saw in the theatre, so it’s a nice common link between us.

How do you figure out what fonts fit perfectly with the book jacket you’re working on? How do you go about modifying a purchased typeface, such as the way the “C” in CINDER differs from the Aeronaut font used in the rest of the title?

I usually try several fonts and sketch out type treatments before I narrow it down to a couple that best relate to the story and design.

If I had it my way I would have kept the original “C” as is (see title page), but sales thought it was difficult to read. I totally understand their concerns, but the idea was to let the reader figure it out by looking at the art and sounding out the title - relating it to Cinder/ella. Maybe it was too much of a stretch, but I like design that makes you think a little.

The title treatment was originally based on lettering I found in a book of old ornamental typefaces. I scanned the letters I needed and put together the title: CINDER. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks later that I discovered there was an actual font available based on the same lettering. The font Aeronaut is an homage to the Neogothic typefaces of the late 1800s--a style that combined mediaeval gothic elements with Arts & Crafts influences. The font was inspired by a liturgical alphabet called Kirchengotische Schrift that was found in an 1879 German sample book for lettering artists.

What other books have you done design work for? What are some of your favorites?


How do you begin designing a cover? What’s your thought process, what initial stages do you go through? 

To begin, I usually read the manuscript and meet with my publisher and editor to discuss any immediate ideas. As I read the manuscript I write down ideas and sketch out thoughts. As the days/weeks go by I continue to think it out and work on comps. When I get to a place where I feel comfortable (or should I say, when time runs out) I show the initial comps to Jean and then we continue from there. It’s definitely a group effort.

What does it take to bring a cover all the way to completion?

1. Patience: a lot of time and thought with much trial and error
2. A supportive team: Publisher, Jean Feiwel and Editor-in-Chief, Liz Szabla are the best, also everyone here in design, editorial and production
3. A thick skin: there are many opinions along the way.
4. Command Z and a big eraser are also required.

And check out the rest of the tour!!

In which I discuss the Awesomeness that is Firefly and how it inspired The Lunar Chronicles.
In which I give a brief history of The Lunars.
January 4: The Book Rat
In which I explain how Cinder’s cyborg-ness developed over multiple drafts.
Thursday 1/5: Reading Vacation
In which I share some of the photos and artwork that inspired CINDER.
In which I share a scene that was deleted from the first draft.
Saturday 1/7: The Apocalypsies
In which my friends and I show you how to make shrimp wontons.
Monday 1/9: My Bookish Ways
An interview in which I talk about my writing journey.
Tuesday 1/10: Bookalicio.us
In which I give a gushy account of how I sold my debut novel.
Wednesday 1/11: Mermaid Vision Books
In which Prince Kai is interviewed.
Thursday 1/12: The Fable Faerie
An interview in which Marissa talks about her inspiration and offers advice.
Friday 1/13: Manga Maniac Cafe
An interview in which Marissa talks about her challenges and influences.
Saturday 1/14: A Backwards Story
In which the book designer and Marissa talk about the cover art.
Monday 1/16: Laura's Review Bookshelf
In which Marissa contemplates the symbolism behind a fancy-dress ball.
Tuesday 1/17: Bibliophilic Monologues
In which Marissa shares some songs from the CINDER playlist, and how they inspired the book.
Wednesday 1/18: The Book Cellar
An interview in which the characters get stuck on a desert island and Marissa confesses her karaoke song.
Thursday 1/19: Almost Grown~Up
In which Marissa’s husband, Jesse, is interviewed!
Friday 1/20: Shannon Messenger's blog
In which Marissa eats noodles and crawl under cars. In other words, research.
Saturday 1/21: Novel Novice
In which Marissa shares the query letter that hooked her agent.

And now, a giveaway!!

Enter to win your own copy of CINDERS by filling out the following form!

Contest ends January 25th!


  1. This is definitely one of the most interesting reads on the Cinder Blog tour! At first, I didn't really like the cover art, but it's since grown on me and now I love it. Thanks for the great interview!

  2. The final design is amazing! It was one of the things that peaked my interest. Seeing the beginning designs, I am very pleased with the final cover. Beautiful!

  3. This was a fantastic interview. So interesting the many phases that go into cover design.

  4. this is beyond fascinating! thanks for running this interview! i loved seeing his other mock-ups and hearing what made him and the team make which decisions!

  5. I had to chuckle at the last question :D Thanks for bringing in an interview by Mr. Rich Deas and for sharing pre-concepts of the book cover and his latest projects. Seeing the evolution of the book cover image was just great. The finalized image did convey Cinder's character, the well-love fairy tale and the barely visible cybernetics bring something extra to the plate. Thanks!

  6. I always love seeing covers as they transform. I think the Spanish cover and the final cover for the US/mostly everywhere else are my favorites, but I love the different ones the publishers played around with. Great post and thank you for the giveaway!

  7. Oh, this is so wonderful. I really love seeing the transformation the covers and concepts went through, and I've always found typography to be a subtly beautiful art. You read my review, so you know how much I adored the final cover version. I'm so glad you left me the link for this! I'm just off to stalk all of the other blog tour stops now, don't mind me ;)

    Lilly @ Book Lungs

  8. I love the Cinder cover. Its AWESOME, there are quite a few other covers I like here too. Very interesting to see the metamorphosis.

  9. Good and another post from you admin :)
    I hope to visit my Site : Ancient Egypt Facts


Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to stop and comment! I appreciate it more than I can say. I try to respond to each one!