“The last step is a collaboration process with the author and the publisher, making adjustments to their wording, tastes, as well as to implement the publisher’s branding.”

 

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After the Holocaust the Bells Still Ring by Rabbi Joseph Polak (Urim Publications)

Designer Shanie Cooper says:

“The cover of After the Holocaust the Bells Still Ring is comprised of three separate elements: the train tracks and the typewriter-style font, which together evoke the Holocaust experience, and a post-war image of the author as a child with his mother. I gave the mother-son photo visual prominence by superimposing it over the train tracks that fade into the background. This served to illustrate the idea that no matter where the Author went or what he did after he was liberated at age 3 from Bergen-Belsen, the Holocaust was a constant shadow throughout the life of one of the youngest Survivors.”

 

The Jewish Dog by Asher Kravitz (Penlight Publications/Urim)

Designer Shanie Cooper says:

The Jewish Dog is a translation of a novel published in Israel in 2007 to great success. I liked the basic design of the original cover and wanted to retain its flavor (a cartoon image of a dog on a solid blue background), but I made several significant changes. I chose a different image for the dog, Caleb, that more closely matched how I imagined him – intelligent and gazing up as if trying to communicate with the reader.

“This was important because this powerful book is uniquely narrated by the dog himself as he lives through the years before, during, and after the Holocaust. I chose a grungy font and added texture to both the font and the blue background to make the cover feel more complex and layered, like the ideas grappled with in the book.

“A further issue affecting this book cover was how to best translate the Hebrew title, Hakelev Hayehudi. The publisher and distributor debated whether a strict translation, although potentially provocative, would be best, or whether to avoid possible controversy by selecting a less derogatory sounding title – for example, The Hebrew Hound, The Yiddish Hound. Also discussed was whether to add a subtitle to the book for clarification, i.e., “A Novel.” In the end, the publisher chose the most accurate translation of the title, simply, The Jewish Dog.”

 

Perfection: The Torah Ideal by Rav Dov Katz (Brenn Books)

Publisher Elliot Resnick says:

“When I commissioned this cover, I sent the following e-mail to the designer:

’I am giving you a lot of leeway with the front cover. I’m not sure exactly what I want. The book is called Perfection: The Torah Ideal and is about perfecting one’s religious and moral character, which the author claims is what God ultimately wants from man and is the purpose of the Jewish religion. I want the cover to look interesting, but it obviously shouldn’t look too fl ashy because the topic is a more serious one.’

“Aside from a single detail, the cover the designer e-mailed me back the following day is the one I used for the final product. I thought the designer truly captured the heart of the book since outer space evokes heaven, God, and a striving for greatness. The font for the word ’Perfection,’ I thought, was also an appropriate and smart choice. I wasn’t initially pleased with Brenn Book’s logo appearing in the upper right-hand corner, but it added so much necessary color to the cover that I decided to leave it.”

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Shlomo Greenwald is the Editorial Director of The Jewish Press.