Book Cover Design Illustration

Book front cover design often features the dynamic use of illustration.

In the world of illustration, two artists stand out, each in their own right, for their iconic artwork, illustrations and book cover illustrations.

Brad Holland was born in 1943 in Ohio. In 1967 Holland moved to New York City, where he became a strong visual presence in the growing new wave underground magazines, including: The East Village Other, Screw, The New York Ace, Rat, Mobster Times, The Berkeley Barb, and The LA Free Press . Though famed for his work with Playboy Magazine, he also appeared regularly in the pages of Avant Garde magazine (1968-1971), Time, and Newsweek, and by 1972, was a regular on the New York Times Op-Ed pages.

Within five years, Holland was one of New York's most important illustrators, known both for his painting, and his book cover illustrations. A classic example are his book cover illustrations used in the book front cover design for Frank Herbert’s God Emporer of Dune in 1981, and 2008’s Button Button, by Richard Matheson. He displayed, and continues to demonstrate, an uncanny ability to distill a complex thought or idea to the spares of images, often dark, sensuous, and dream like. He has consistently avoided translating that distillation into words, believing that it is the job of the illustration to convey that message, unaided by further comment from the artist.

Frank Frazetta was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York on February 9, 1928. At the age of eight, at the insistence of his school teachers, Frazetta's parents enrolled him in the Brooklyn Academy of Fine Arts. He attended the Brooklyn Academy of Fine Arts for eight years. When the school closed, following the death of its founder, Frazetta found employment as a comic book artist. During the 1950s, he worked for EC Comics, National Comics (including the superhero feature "Shining Knight"), Avon and several other comic book companies.

Frazetta worked for nine years with Al Capp on his Li'l Abner comic strip, and assisted Dan Barry on the Flash Gordon daily strip. He was unable to find work in comic after that time, because his style was deemed antiquated. He joined Harvey Kurtzman working on the parody comic strip Little Annie Fanny for Playboy magazine.

In the 1960s, Frazetta’s illustrations were used in the book front cover design for a number of adventure books, notably his book cover illustration for Conan the Adventurer by Robert E. Howard and L. Sprague de Camp. Owing to its sensuous style, this book cover illustration and the subsequent series, launched his career. He followed this with book cover illustration for classic Edgar Rice Burroughs books, notably, the Tarzan and John Carter series.

Frazetta died of a stroke on May 10, 2010, in a hospital near his residence in Florida.