A few years back, as independent book cover designers Anne Jordan and Mitch Goldstein were discussing their work at Cranbrook Academy of Art, a grad student raised his hand and asked, “You made all of these in Cinema 4D, right?”
Jordan had never opened the program. Rather, the husband-and-wife duo developed their style—a blend of physical objects and digital type—while studying with mentors Nancy Skolos and Thomas Wedell at the Rhode Island School of Design.
“Anything can become an image,” Jordan says. “If you use the computer for what it’s great at, and use the real world for physical phenomena that are so beautiful, they really enhance and extend each other.”
Jordan and Goldstein love the limitations of the book cover. They thrive in their passion for constraints, and the possibility of their outcomes. Often working with academic and university presses, they have a knack for taking on wildly complex topics and bringing heavy words vibrantly to life, humanizing the books’ subjects in the process.
“Why am I dedicating my life to this, beyond the fact that it’s just really fun to be creative in this format?” Jordan asks. “If we can make a beautiful book cover that somehow inspires somebody to actually read a book, we really are, in our own little way, contributing to the intellectual growth of society. It’s just our little way, but it’s still a way.”
From their home studio in Rochester, New York, Jordan and Goldstein discuss five book covers: three of their striking monochromatic covers and two that play with some new tones, perhaps a preview of what we might see from the duo in the future as they work to bring more color into their practice.