Fresh look: ‘By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept’

This month, ‘Fresh’ gives us a chance to bring you the amazing new content that we’ve got planned for the year. Not only do we want to focus on our fresh new authors, our fresh food, or our upcoming books for 2015, but we want to take a look at our new covers. For ‘Fresh Look’, we’ll be asking about the old covers that are being given new life. We spoke to cover designer Jo Walker about the re-issue of ‘By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept’ by Elizabeth Smart. 

‘It was suggested by the editor that we concentrate on the classic photos of Grand Central Station that are so iconic. The beauty of these images is the light and scale of the station, the people look so tiny and the station so impressive. I found some of these images and tried a few different approaches.

The cover on the left (which was chosen) was a more classic approach, making the most of the photograph and giving the book an authoritative feel with the straight forward type. The second option I did was illustrative and concentrated solely on the light coming in from the windows. I wanted it to be a little less literal and more of the feel of the station and the light streaming in. The idea was that it would look like the light hit the title to bring the illustration and type together.’

By Grand Central Station b format2By Grand Central Station b format












‘The meeting was divided between the two approaches but in the end, we felt that the classic photographs couldn’t really be topped and had more weight and feeling of drama than the illustration. It was the more traditional approach to take but for a classic book like this, it was the right decision.’


The re-issue of the iconic ‘By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept’ is published by 4th Estate on 29th January 2015

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