On January 5, 1933, workers began construction on the Golden Gate Bridge. Moving beyond the familiar accounts of politics and the achievements of celebrity engineers and designers, Building the Golden Gate Bridge by Harvey Schwartz is the first book to primarily feature the voices of the workers themselves. This is the story of survivors who vividly recall the hardships, hazards, and victories of constructing the landmark span during the Great Depression. In this guest post, UW Press Senior Designer Thomas Eykemans walks us through his creative process in designing the book’s cover.
In considering ways to find a unique approach to the design of a book about an overly familiar subject that has already been portrayed in countless photographs and films, I came across a pair of commemorative plaques that had been attached to the bridge when it was completed in 1937. They featured spectacular Art Deco typography, iconic of that era, which proved to be an irresistible starting point for the cover design.