Tuesday, January 13, 2015

SCBWI Team Blog Exclusive: Elizabeth Parisi!!!

Elizabeth (R) with pals (R to L) Arthur, Lisa, and FanDango
(photo stolen from Dan's website, thanks, Danders
You guys know the ever effervescent Elizabeth Parisi? She's a creative director at Scholastic and oversees 150+ book titles per year! Holy Hell. Elizabeth's got amazing covers down pat: the little known Hunger Games Trilogy, which she did with her husband, Tim O'Brien as illustrator; Gorgeous, by Paul Rudnick; the Gregor the Overlander series, by Suzanne Collins; Out of the Dust, by Karen Hesse, and What I Saw and How I Lied, by National Book Award winner, Judy Blundell. In addition to being an incredibly talented designer, she's also a swell dame who's generous with her time. Below, Elizabeth answered a few questions for Team Blog:

Jaime: Hiya, Elizabeth. I'm always interested to hear what catches an art director's eye in a bookstore—do you have any favorite covers (not from your publishing house) for 2014/January 2015? 

Elizabeth: Brown Girl Dreaming, of course. So simple, so evocative. They say silhouetted figures are over used, but it looks lovely.

Jaime: Lovely! I do adore a good silhouette. That's probably a fun exercise for making practice covers, figuring out strong silhouettes. The other important element on a cover is the type. Let's talk fonts. Kill, kiss or marry: Helvetica, Baskerville or Comic Sans?  

Elizabeth: Kill Comic Sans, for sure. Ugly, goofy, over used. Kiss Helvetica, because it’s sexy, versatile, a 'renaissance font,' like a Renaissance Man. Marry Baskerville, because it’s loyal, consistent, reliable, classy, intelligent.

Jaime: Oh man, can you give Helvetica my number? Baskerville sounds alright, but a bit like my dog, minus the intelligent and classy parts. I love how your covers always have amazing palettes, Elizabeth. What's your Favorite Pantone Color of 2015? 

Elizabeth: 318 or 325, lovely aqua colors that are such a bear to match on press!

Jaime: I am an aqua fan for sure, they both look like they could be turned into sour lollipop flavors. Speaking of lollies, let's get down to the really important questions: What does a Scholastickler such as yourself snack on during the day? Does Rice To Riches run a pudding pipe directly into your department? Are there any not-to-be-missed snacks in Manhattan you recommend our conference goers seek out? 

Elizabeth: That’s tricky, I barely leave the office during the day. But if I was an out of towner, I would try to take a quick trip down to Chinatown and have Vietnamese food. It’s fresh, vibrant, cheap. Maybe Pho Bang, on Mott street. Expand the palette horizons.

Jaime: Ooh, pho! Gouda idea, Elizabeth! Can you give us a hint of what books you're working on this week? Or a few of the titles that you've worked on that are just coming out in stores? 

Elizabeth: Really excited about The Ways to Stay in Destiny, by Augusta Scattergood. A sweet, classic story, and the cover was so fun to work on with Sara Wood, the illustrator. 

And Woof, by Spencer Quinn, another great read, with the most adorable lead character, named Bowser.

Jaime: Thanks so much, Elizabeth! Final question, are you willing to share some snapshots of your office?

Making her fishbowl window less fishy

Postcards from illustrators, recognize yours?

One of these is a present from Lisa Yee!
Love that Parisi! Catch Elizabeth at the Winter Conference and hear her talk on cover creation! You might bump into her at the portfolio show, too!

1 comment:

Augusta Scattergood said...

Why, thanks Elizabeth for that great shout-out about "Destiny." Everybody loves BOTH the books you designed. I always get compliments on the cover art. So many compliments!