Book Design & Illustration

Highly satisfying work! Here are 3 of the books which I've designed—and illustrated.

Riding out the Hurricane: Novel

large illustration preview image

My cover design—and illustrations—for 2011 Silver Nautilus Award-winning novel by Maeve McMahon (Cover endorsement, Bishop Desmond Tutu)

An excellent story about the disaster in Louisiana—and its terrible aftermath. The writer, Maeve, actually lived through the disaster herself and saw the school she helped to set up, and that she worked in—washed away.

Two previously submitted designs didn't hit the mark so my services were called upon. It was a very enjoyable and satisfying piece to work on, and the conversations I had with author Maeve, and the many doodles and sketches I produced helped me to hit that mark. The book and its cover was being judged by Louisians. Despite my lack of knowledge of their state and culture, the design received the local stamp of approval.

The 2am eureka moment came as I read the book. I wondered what shape a corrugated cardboard box would make if opened out? This item was the first piece of comfort the protagonists experienced in days following the initial storm and flood. As it happened—it didn't make a cross but with a little judicial tearing I was able to achieve an impression of it—subtly. Maeve's an Irish nun and she says the book has a strong spiritual element. I managed to hint at this but without putting too much weight on it.

The Illustrations

The illustrations were executed in watercolours, inks and Polychromo pencils on paper.

riding out the hurricane book illustration front

Above: Front Cover

riding out the hurricane book illustration back

Above: Back Cover
Below: 2am eureka-moment sketches!

riding out the hurricane book cover sketches

Art Director, Designer & Illustrator: John White
Client: Maeve McMahon
Mediums: Pencils, Paper, Gouache paint, Pen; Adobe Photoshop & Indesign

Province Yearbook/Catalogus Provinciarum

Matteo Ricci poster design by John White

Cover Design, Typography and Illustration: A very enjoyable and creative commission this. I created every singe element.

The budget allowed for a Black & White illustration, which I created in pencil, on paper. Within InDesign I added a lot of colour—with a coloured stripe for each Province.

I also enjoyed creating some graphical elements within Illustrator and incorporated some nice typographical touches.

typography design

book design by john white

book design

illustration for book cover

Art Director & Designer: J. White
Client: Irish Jesuits
Mediums: Pencils, Paper, Adobe Photoshop & Indesign

Voices of the Acorn: Poetry Book

apc print design by john white

Poems by pupils of St.Patrick's Post Primary School - Edited by Ann Egan

This was a nice one. Because it was many years ago - before I could even use a computer - I needed assistance in putting it together, but the illustrations and design concept were my own. I really wasn't a designer at all at the time. It was all a baffling mystery to me.

It was nice to paint an idealised image of the County Kildare countryside that I spent so much happy time in as a kid. That's the Hill of Allen there. I used to view it from atop the Motte and Bailey in Naas town by the canal, during my School lunchbreaks as I ate my sandwiches.

Cover Illustrations & Cover Design Concept John White
Medium Watercolour, Polychromos, Ink & Photoshop


Art Directed/Designed for

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