Jarrod Taylor.

“This is my cave located in the art department of the Harper Collins building in midtown. It’s a cozy space, secluded enough I play motivational music a little too loud and mutter curse words under my breath while I’m working. Against the left wall I’ll have some recent comps that I’ve done (usually ones that have been killed). In front of the row of comps there’s almost always iced coffee. My sketch pad is where I write cryptic notes about the books I’m working on. This sometimes leads to an idea. Most of my notes end up on my wall. The bookshelves above are taken up by an ever-expanding pile of books, most of which I’ve done the jackets for, and a few that I’m actually kind of happy with. On the lower shelf I line up unused Pantone and Toyo swatches. This is something I picked up from my old art director. It looks cool and works as a quick reference when trying to match a color. Two small objects to call attention —a pickled cobra in a bottle of liquor a friend gave to me, and a bear tooth on the base of my monitor from my dad. These serve some mystical purpose I can’t put into words (sorry).

On the right wall, hangs a poster of the actress Selma Blair (a coworker gave to me a few years ago). On the days I’m stumped I’ll look to her for guidance, most of the time she has none to offer, but her cool stare is still reassuring.”

Jarrod Taylor grew up in the state of Washington. He lived in Seattle and went to school at the respective Art Institute working in various ad agencies and design firms before moving to New York to finish school at Parsons. Currently, he’s at Harper Collins where he’s been for approximately four years.

The latter day Selma has a great stare. What is your motivational office music? Pandora or iPod? Usually it’s just an artist I’ve either heard about recently or rediscovered. Right now, it’s a lot of Townes Van Zandt. I’ve tried Pandora and it doesn’t work for me—I think my expectations are too specific. I’ll stick to iTunes most of the time.

Your website has a “killed concepts” tab…a great sign of character. Does it bum you to see one version (say the Joshua Gaylord’s Hummingbirds )change in design or colour? It depends. The ones on my desk are dead with no hope for resuscitation, so, there’s usually no tweaking. I think it’s motivational rather than hanging onto the past—a way of reminding yourself what you’re capable of. Designing the Hummingbirds jacket was an especially long process.  I was happy with the alternate version and end result; both have strengths. The original concern was the white didn’t have much impact from a distance, the other definitely addresses that.

I agree. Talk to me about your pulpy Elmore Leonard series; how did you concept the look? I was told to make it look pulpy and hard-boiled. It would’ve been fun to have done a few more but it was already set at three.

Do you ride the subway; the fare is going up to $104 for a 30 day unlimited….are you ticked? I’m not really surprised or ticked when they raise the subway fare, cause it’s just something that’s expected to happen at this point, more and more frequently.

Hmmmm….Kate would be ticked.

Jared’s office photo makes her miss office life in New York, especially iced coffee.  Via Selma, the cobra and the bear tooth, it’s safe to say Jarrod’s graphically inclined creative mind also has a sense of humour and like he cited, “purpose.”

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