The Death and Life of Great American Cities

the people

This is a personal project I created to practice my Adobe Photoshop skills, the pen tool in particular.

the project

I was inspired to re-imagine the cover of The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs after Maisonneuve Magazine asked me to write a review of my favourite read of 2017. It didn't have to be something released it 2017, just something I loved last year, so I chose this 1962 classic

the process

The original cover is clean and minimal, and I wanted to keep that mood while modernizing the type and adding some colour and punch. The guiding concept was about creating a new city that could be any city, all cities, the realization of a city's potential according to Jane Jacobs.

Starting with photos of a variety of American cities (New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and more) plus a few extras (Tokyo, and Toronto for a personal twist), I used the pen tool to cut out dozens of different buildings. I rearranged the pieces to create a new city that would show through the letters (via a simple clipping mask) and give the impression of being both cohesive and diverse. The result is bold and bright, and maintains a link to the original.