In conversation with James Iacobelli
IN CONVERSATION WITH
James Iacobelli is an Art Director working at Atria Books. He is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts and has worked for Harper Collins and St. Martin's Press before joining Atria as Art Director.
|Courtesy of Atria|
What does a typical day at Atria Books look like for you?
I'd normally grab an espresso before actually getting into the office. This was where I'd get a jump start on my day. Answering emails, setting an agenda, and sprinkling in research for my current list.
For non meeting days, a dark office, with music blasting in my ears, was normally how you'd find me. Throw in an afternoon CrossFit class to break up my day, more espressos, and loud music. I bounce a lot of ideas around with my amazingly talented wife, Olga Grlic, who is quick to let me know if I'm onto something good. Before you know it, I was biking home.
On jacket meeting days, I'd be rushing to print and wrap book covers to present. I put a lot of care into this process, I believe presentation is half the battle.
|The Oracle Year by Charles Soule|
How did you get into the industry?
I landed an internship at HarperCollins during my senior year at SVA. Working around the most talented designers I've ever been around, I learned how to file book jackets in alphabetical order in a dark closet, HA! I fell in love with designing books during this time. Each a new challenge. I was hired full-time the week after graduating.
What are the most challenging parts of your role?
Taking rejection and turning them into positives. Commercial cover design has a big approval process, I learned early on that what I may think is "cool" or a "perfect" solution doesn't necessarily mean it's right for the market or audience.
|Ordinary Hazards by Anna Bruno|
Has COVID had any impact on your work?
Covid impacts where I do my job, but not how I do my job. I still approach my work the same as I always have. With a blank photoshop document.
What's the most memorable cover you've designed and why?
At this point, I'd say The Majesties by Tiffany Tsao. I was in love with the artist, Joseph Lee, and knew his art was perfect for this book. When I presented the jacket, it was unanimous.
|The Majesties by Tiffany Tsao|
I'm eager to start reading an older book, Summerland by Michael Chabon.