Alter Ego Pop Art and the Spice Girls: A match made in heaven

Last year through a mutual friend, I met Quentin Harrison, a talented music journalist and historian who was seeking a designer and illustrator to work on his first published book. That in itself piqued my interest; when I learned the subject matter focused on the Spice Girls," I knew I wanted in!

The book, "Record Redux: Spice Girls," launched on July 8, 2016, to coincide with the 20th anniversary debut of their first UK single, "Wannabe." Quentin has served up the first ever complete discography of the Spice Girls, tracking their movements in music — both as a group and as solo artists — over nearly two decades. The book covers every released single (plus its B-side) and LP with full stats and Quentin's keen critical commentary throughout.

For the cover design, I wanted to glorify their iconic, larger than life alter egos: Baby, Ginger, Posh, Scary and Sporty. They always struck me as powerful music superheroes, and it was important for me to capture their essence. I knew that the attitude of their stance alone was enough to identify each Girl without adding any detail. About six months before the book's release, the social media campaign unveiled the lineup in silhouettes only; each Girl bathed in their "signature" on-stage color. This campaign approach was a way to reintroduce the group while suggesting that the book would go beyond covering their more notable Spice hits.

Aside from the pressure of creating a cover that would honor the group (and appease their fans), the other challenge was designing the book itself. Inspired by their signature colors, the book uses a corresponding color coded system to track their activity as a group and as individuals. Below is a special advance excerpt we released to show the book's reader-friendly format.

 How-To Reader Guide in the book shows the format balances stats with Quentin's critical commentary of every single and LP release.

How-To Reader Guide in the book shows the format balances stats with Quentin's critical commentary of every single and LP release.

This project has truly been a career highlight for me, and I've enjoyed collaborating with Quentin and designing the marketing and promotion support. This book is the first in a series of 14 that will explore the contributions and influences of women in pop music. Quentin's second book, "Record Redux: Carly Simon" will publish April 2017 -- I'll keep you posted on its progress!