Working at Harlequin: Creating Book Covers with Gigi Lau
Welcome back to our series on what goes on behind the scenes here at Harlequin. Today, we’re chatting with Art Director Gigo Lau. Longtime readers of the Harlequin Blog may recognize Gigi from her posts giving us the inside scoop on how some of your favorite book covers were created. If you’re new here or want to revisit these posts, check out the list below and keep reading to learn more about a day in the life of an Art Director!
What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Go over emails and eat breakfast at my desk – I never have time to eat breakfast at home!
What does the average day in your role look like for you?
I check in with my designers, illustrators, retouchers to see if they have all that they need to keep their covers moving along. They might need some critique to make sure the concepts are in the right direction that we were briefed at, they might be looking for more direction so I might need to do sketches or image research and walk them through to the vision I have for that particular book, or they might need a purchase order or invoice submitted so they get paid, so I will need to do some paperwork. I often work on cover designs myself, so I would go over my image research and work on concepts in between brief and strategy meetings.
What got you interested in the publishing industry?
I’ve always loved plunging myself into a story and loved how tactile books are. To be able to create a succinct and clear package design that will compel someone to come take a closer look, to pick up and want to know more, it’s my ideal role in design!
What piece of information or advice do you wish you knew going into your role?
The brief always changes, be flexible and go with it.
Tell us a funny story about something that happened while you were at work.
A model showed up to a photoshoot with no bra, I ended up lending her mine…
What upcoming books are you most excited about?
The Cactus – I love reading about strong determined female protagonists with all the quirks and flaws you end up loving.
The Light Mage – This is part of the Black Witch Chronicles. This e-novella bridges The Black Witch with The Iron Flower. I loved The Black Witch, it featured so many excellent themes of racial bias and empowered youth, which is so relevant today. I look forward to this whole series!
You can follow me on IG @lau.gigi.lau
Don’t forget to come back next week for our next post in this series…and if you’re interested in the copyediting side of things, this one is for you!
For more behind the scenes posts, click here.