In order to design the book Passenger to Frankfurt I first looked for a synopsis and read a little bit what the book was about: a bored diplomat that is approached in a not very welcoming airport by a woman whose life is in danger and he accepts to give her his passport and boarding pass to help. Due to the plot and the name of the book I thought using a typeface that represented an airport could be an interesting approach. Even though, I had other ideas before.
I tried to have a pure typographic approach using german typefaces. I found one that I first thought it could work, called Shelley designed by Andrea Fusinski. I was not able to use this typeface as it was not available to download and I could not find anything similar, so I had to come up with another idea. Even though I also considered other classic ideas such as Haettenschweiler, Copperplate Gothic or Braggadocio, but the approach was not entirely clear to me.
It was then when I started to look through airports and the way they have (and had) to display information. So I decided to make a panel where the letters work as little squares.
After knowing what I was going to do, I made a first draft in Illustrator using a grid dividing an A4 13 times by 19 with a gutter of 1mm and using the rule of thirds to place the elements in the composition. I used yellow typography to make it more vintage and older, looking more from the seventies, when the book was released.
I thought the approach was right but it was lacking detail, so I decided to go bring some three dimension to the design. I considered my previous work of Games Workshop re-branding when making this decision, but the field was different. It is not the same the purpose of a logotype than the purpose of a book cover. Maybe I was taking the wrong decision, but I said to myself that in order to progress I have to know where the limits are.
Following the same principle then but using different tones of gray and an addition of two wheels I created for each square to rotate I designed one slot and duplicated it until I had the panel to write in Illustrator. Then I used the typeface Arial as it was one of the most common used in this kind of technologies. The name of the author is written in Baskerville to stand out with the sans serif shape in white, making Agatha Christie the presentor of this work. After the word 'to' I added one of the squares caught changing to nothing to bring some balance the design was lacking. Once the design was done I exported it to Photoshop in order to add a black fade, so the vision of the panel was more natural and not that sharp, and also a soft texture to add some imperfections and mistery to the cover.