Working closely with Impress Books we were asked to design and illustrate the cover for The Days Heat. Set in 1960s America, the book takes on topics relating to race and religion and the prejudices that follow.
Set in the early sixties against the backdrop of impending national integration, The Day’s Heat follows Lee James, a dark-skinned, Catholic, Lebanese girl who comes to a small south Georgia town. Lee has already seen the partiality shown her younger, fairer sister Ray, and experienced prejudice even in the Catholic church that she dutifully attends with her two daughters, who both have their father’s blonde hair and blue eyes. She must confront the prejudices of her husband’s family and the community toward her nationality and religion, at a time when there were no birth control pills, no internet, no mobile phones, and when a woman’s place was in the home. Lee struggles with her own growth as a wife, mother, and an individual in an unfavourable place and time.
To Give the cover context and setting, We looked at illustrated adverts and political satire pieces from the 60s. We chose a simple colour palette to help amplify the nostalgic feeling that this was set in this time period. The hot tones help give the cover a feeling of hostility which Lee James would have faced.