Art and commerce

We just finished designing a cover for the first book in a three-part series about vampires. We’ve worked on at least a dozen book covers over the last few years, and we always find these projects fun and challenging. Fun because we get to stretch our creative chops. Challenging because the main purpose of a cover is to sell books. So there’s always some give and take, which leads to intriguing internal discussions as we seek to find the most effective middle ground.

When you stop to think about it, the process is a microcosm of what we do around here every day. The push/pull of art and commerce is a constant in our business. And we’ve learned that the key, as in most things, is balance. If we veer off too far in one direction or the other, results suffer.

That’s where judgment and experience come into play. Balance is a vital concept, but it’s not always as self-evident as you’d think. But when we put our heads together, along with our various perspectives and histories, the pieces fall into place. We always say that six or eight brains are better than one. I think vampires say that too, but for different reasons.

Or maybe that’s zombies.

Brian Rouff serves as managing partner for Imagine Communications. Contact Brian at

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