Alexander McCall Smith is an internationally renowned author of over 60 books, perhaps best known for the No.1 Ladies’ Detective series.

The previous covers for these books were iconic, utilising Africa-inspired woodcut illustrations by the talented Hannah Firmin. They were cherished by a very loyal fan base, and the brief for this backlist repackage project was to keep a sense of Africa, it’s colour and warmth, use animals, and look to make the most of the fantastic titles.

We pitched for this project alongside some other creatives, and some roughs we did based on African street signage were taken forward by Little, Brown Book Groups UK Creative Director Duncan Spilling.

We developed a simple illustrative look over the course of a year, achieving covers with a light touch and confident colours to take Alexander’s writing to a new readership. We found it was easy to over-design the covers, and that a very simple, witty solution was needed for them.

Begun in 2011, the look is still going strong and we’re very proud to continue to package these beautiful stories.

All illustrated in-house by Mecob.

Client: Little, Brown Book Group UK
Commissioned by Duncan Spilling, Creative Director
Some images courtesy of Shutterstock & iStockphoto