Wholeness at Work is a book about how people can reach wholeness in the frantic pace of life, where fragmentation of time, energy—even identities—is the norm. The author, Wendy Tan Siew Inn, was looking for a cover that would convey the idea of wholeness amidst the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of work and life.
Wendy started the project with an entirely different vision than the design we chose. She thought the cover should have some sort of a chaotic background with a wholeness feeling within it. She was sure she wanted strong imagery, not just a typography-based approach. My initial design proposals included abstract elements to convey wholeness. They didn’t seem to be what Wendy was looking for. Following her suggestions, I carried on with a few new versions using the classic beauty of lotus flowers. Those were not quite on Wendy’s taste either. In the end, we both agreed to step away from elements seen on other wholeness book covers. That’s how we ended up with a design based on the relation between wholeness and the shape of a circle. Simple, right? Yes, but simple is hard to achieve. The cool part was that I matched the subtle grey circle with a stark background in order to create the feeling of serenity and wholeness. Plus, the circle almost looks like water ripples that are very appropriate for this genre because they give the impression of continuity.
Going back and forth with different ideas was helpful for both Wendy and me. It helped her find what she was truly looking for. It also made me understand the importance of keeping an open vision when designing a book cover. Overall, it was a great experience, and I am super happy with the clean, professional look of the final cover.