Sunday, April 3, 2011

Chad W. Beckerman

  • He grew up in Connecticut town in Litchfield hills.
  • He graduated from Rhode Island School of design in 2000
  • Traveling to New York City he was hired at Scholastic books as a assistant designer.
  • After he moved to Brooklyn, New York where he later was hired at Greenwillow books where he was promoted to designer and later Senior designer.
  • Soon he left and became the new art director for Abrams books for young readers and Amulet books and has been there to this day.

Covers made by Beckerman

He designs book covers for Adults, Young Adults and even Kids books.

For the book “Fell by David Clement-Davies” he designed it all on his own, he design and illustrated the book Jacket. He also illustrated the interior of the book adding the designs along the sides to match the cover as much as possible. The target market is for teenagers 14 and up; because of how dark the jacket is it’s more suited for teenagers and up then for children. So far there is only one language printed for “Fell” and that is English. You can find this book at any bookstore as well as you can buy it online.


1) What is a typical day like?

10:09pm on a Sunday ha no
, working with editorial staff, illustrators, designers, and sometimes authors on various stages of books and picture books.

2) What is your role as the Art director for Abrams Books for young Readers and Amulet Books?

I find illustrators for both imprints, I create the visual books of the two imprints as a whole. Creating the aesthetic of the two. I work with three other designers and direct their designs.

3) How many concepts were presented to the client? How Long was the process? Who was it targeted towards?

Unique because it was kind of of , for the first idea was the eyes, I illustrated the eyes first. There were two concept to the story that the drawing had to show. From there I made the illustration, I sent them to the author, he said one of the eyes was a different color, so I changed that.

I don’t think about when I do the cover globally, because other country they can design the cover how they want. It depends on the rights to sell the books those countries.

Yes mainly for novels there is two groups 8- 12 and YA-13- above then there is the

in between market 10-12. YA you can use photo’s there is no rules but it’s not a bad idea cause photo’s tend to look older while illustrations for are more for young audience, while some illusions could be use for older, you have to design accordingly.

Dairy of a wimpy kid was a long process. That one was a little harder because the illustration was a sick figure and there was curtain rules I had to follow. It was a journal but not a journal because it was a diary. You have to think of it logically. Originally it was a piece of paper but then we put it so it was like someone else came and diary so that was his logic on why it was created like a stick figure.

4) What’s a great day at work?

Any day that I feel like a idea that I come up with that clicks and start working that’s a pretty good day. Cause I have a idea and click is one thing , that works is if the editor likes it or designer. Working with a illustrator working together, making it click or work. Moving around and making a book work is pretty cool. Basically any day that your idea actually work.

5) Do you like what you are doing now working for Abrams Books for young Readers and Amulet Books?

Yeah, it’s a job that I think why are they paying me to do this. I was working on a cover where I had to make type with cheese. I went to a chief to see how the cheese was made. I’m getting paid to mess around and play with my food. so Yeah I like what I do.

6) Where do you see book design's going in the future?

I think recently I did a blog post on jacket cases where you take the jacket off and there is the case underneath. Some books designers forget about the case or repeat the cover of the jacket onto the case, I feel its a shame cause they don’t think or believe it’s a whole package. I think of it all as a whole thing being a beautiful object.

I don’t find ebooks as a threat, it’s something to be talked about and to be taken seriously. It only pushes book design further. Future book designs with ebooks will be taking it to making it more interactive, with more animation, pop up video’s, having it be more interactive. It’s there but not out in the world at the moment. What it is then people will ajust to it. ebooks can’t handle a lot of things. Just like having a image in a novel can’t handle that. It’s pretty much taken the design out of the ebook. That’s it.

7) Is there anything you would like to say to future book designers?

Looking at not only the design of things but WHY it’s really hard question cause u got to look at the job. Like the a kids books between a adult, going out and look at the market. Big picture stuff, that’s how I fell into it. When I was in school, After school I go to a book store and look at the designs of books, the idea of creating one image that tells a story though that one image. Just stay with it, I tell this to illustrators even if your in school you have to just do it. Do design whether it’s for a client or not, if you don’t you just lose it. I was up 11:00 working on a book it’s not because it’s work but because I want to do it. Just little thing like that will shine though.

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