Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Visible Darkness: Cover Design

The preliminary cover design for Darkness Visible

Slag pouring from an open hearth ladle
I am coming down the home stretch in preparing Darkness Visible for publication.  My son-in-law Richard Mueller has come up with a preliminary cover design, shown above.  We have settled on a four-color image of molten steel being poured from a ladle.

I like it for a couple reasons. First, the image works as a graphic metaphor for the title itself, the text being visible only via the light from the molten metal.  Second, the image is reminiscent of the opening cues of  "The U.S. Steel Hour," a TV drama series that ran 1953-63. One of the cues is a shot of molten steel pouring into a gigantic ladle. When I showed the cover design to two of my Pittsburgh friends, they immediately thought of this image. In their memories (and mine) these images of molten steel blazing forth in the darkness of the mill interior is emblematic of U.S. Steel, and by extension, its predecessor, Carnegie Steel.  This may be a faulty memory, but I recall my dad saying that the cues were filmed inside the Homestead Works, which at the time was USS's flagship mill.  If they weren't, they could have been.