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Riverhead Books has unveiled its new colophon and the imprint’s art director Helen Yentus takes us inside her creative process in the following Q & A.

How would you describe the inspiration behind the creation of the new Riverhead colophon?
Helen Yentus
My inspiration comes from our authors and the incredibly collaborative working culture we have here at Riverhead, while making a nod to the original logo and our 20-year legacy. It was important for me to have a mark that reflects the fiercely contemporary, hugely varied voices from all over the world that we help bring to readers each year, and at the same time captures the creative energy one feels working here. Seeing these books go from inception to a real object that is put in the hands of readers is a thrill, and capturing that in a colophon was a challenge.

What sparked the timing of this project and what was involved in the production process – from initial concept to final design?

I have been working on this logo since my first day on the job. To be honest, most of the process has been one where I attempt to redesign the logo and then put the project aside either because the outcome is underwhelming, or the timing isn’t right, or both. Part of the timing really has to do with finally coming up with something that feels right for us. After Riverhead_logo_bw_portraitworking here for 6 years, I really feel like I’ve understood our mission and culture enough to be able to tackle it. Riverhead is a place where crazy, outlandish projects are encouraged. We’re pushed every day to come up with new, innovative ways to solve problems, or even to come up with our own problems to solve. It’s all terribly exciting and I think that energy is felt by everyone who works here. I really wanted to have a colophon that could attempt to embody that energy.

What do you hope the new colophon design represents to readers and our colleagues?

My hope is that the colophon captures the sense of emergence that one feels working here. The thrill of seeing a beloved piece of writing go from inception to final product. Hopefully one will feel the strength and sheer will that goes into bringing these projects to the world.

Social media seems to be having a lot of fun with the new Riverhead look.  What is your reaction to that?

It’s been really exciting to see and be a part of. It’s an excellent example of the collaborative effort Riverhead puts into everything. One of us may come up with something, and then everyone gets on board and makes it their own. It really is as fun to work here as it looks.

When and on which books will the new colophon appear? 

The colophon will be used on all of our titles going forward. The first hardcover it will appear on is SUDDEN DEATH by Álvaro Enrigue, which goes on sale February 9.

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