In the Dark

The pièce de résistance of my book design has always been to print the cover using a phosphorescent ink which glows in the dark but is invisible during daylight. Meaning that hidden design elements could be revealed in spectacular fashion. I believe this would be a great visual metaphor for lies, hidden from plain sight but once revealed all encompassing; basically being kept in the dark.

I was greatly inspired by the amazing business cards (shown below) created by the Australian designer Luke Lucas and was convinced that this technique was the perfect fit for my book cover, offering a unique solution to a complex design problem. I have, however, had to reconsider my plans.

Fig 1.


The printers I had originally planned to use in the UK more than doubled their price on sight of the artwork. Meaning that just 1 book would cost in excess of 2000 gbp to produce and ship to Kuwait. I did try and source alternative quotes but the technique is very specialised and as such it is accompanied by a premium price tag. I needed to come up with a plan B.

After considering my options I decided that the whole purpose of the technique was to reveal the lies hidden in plain sight and the metaphor here was in the reveal. I therefore came up with the idea of revealing the bullshit by housing the book inside a slip case. I would design the slip case to be very minimal; pure white with the word ‘truth’ debossed to both sides. The cover however, would then be printed using black and a neon, fluorescent ink so I would still get the reveal I was looking for and retain some degree of ‘wow’ factor. This would also mean that I could get the book printed in Kuwait, avoiding shipping costs (and worries at customs) and I could get 5 copies printed for the price I would have paid for just 1 using the glow in the dark ink. A win win situation.

Admittedly, I would still love to do a project using the phosphorescent technique but this seems like a viable alternative which is achievable in terms of both cost and production, without compromising too much on aesthetic. Decidedly, this project has tested me in ways I could not have imagined but in retrospect this has given me a change to come up with alternative solutions, utilising divergent strategies and make contacts with printers in Kuwait. So all in all I believe this is the best decision for this project to move forward and I am exited to  see the final result.

bullshit cover proof

Above: Winstanley. L (2016) Printers proof neon ink

Images: Fig 1: Lucas, L. (2012). Luke Lucas Business Cards. [image] Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2016].

In the Dark

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