Saskia Noort’s Stromboli cover is a visual rebus that makes you puzzle
Stromboli’s nearly violently beaming cover is designed by Janet Hansen, who – as a senior designer for New York publisher Alfred Knopf – is responsible for many successful covers. ‘I’m always browsing for international book designers,’ Van Gelderen says, ‘and Hansen’s work caught my eye. Very stylish and graphic, but soulful too. She turned out to be open to working with us.’
Behind the exploding light on Stromboli Hansen put the fragmented portrait of a smiling woman (not Noort’s face); a visual rebus that makes you puzzle and keeps returning in Hansen’s work in ominous varieties.
The spectrum goes from a face smothered in gold on Deepti Kapoor’s A Bad Character (Vintage, 2015) and absurdly blown-up headshot pixels on Lara Williams’ A Selfie As Big As The Ritz (Flatiron, 2017) up to the sinister mutilations on Dexter Palmer’s Version Control (Pantheon, 2016).
‘Saskia is very happy with her cover, says Van Gelderen. ‘It shows she’s taken a different direction.’