In producing the art and design for Daniel Jupp’s ‘Camelot Cosmos’ we decided to go for a Beardsley-esque style, since he was quite famous – in part – for his illustration of Arthurian legend, upon which Camelot Cosmos draws. I wanted a stark, old-school look to the books, even though they’re for a Space Opera game of adventure, warfare, questing and romance and even though they use a (heavily modified) FATE system, which is thoroughly modern. Raven did us proud there and continues to develop and improve as an artist while maintaining her own distinctive style.
While Agents of SWING has come in for some stick over its design choices, I liked the stark, minimalist approach there and I wanted to keep things relatively simple for Camelot Cosmos as well. Of course, ‘simple’ and ‘Art Nouveau’ don’t go together particularly well but I also wanted to reference the ‘lost technology’ theme and was inspired, in great part, by A Canticle for Leibowitz. In a memorable few scenes in that the initial lead character slaves over an illuminated manuscript of a circuit board pattern and this clash of medieval artistry and modern technical design has always stuck with me.
It is quite, quite possible that I over-think things!
The interior won’t have spot illustrations but, rather, will have ‘plates’, prefacing each chapter. This will make it a bit of a ‘text heavy’ book (though I’ll lighten that with the tables and sidebars) but having the art mark the chapter should, in theory, make flipping through the books to find things visually easier in the ‘dead tree’ version.
This is a big work. Daniel has put a lot of work into it and the ‘secret’ background of the world is sufficiently important that this will be our first book that is split into the traditional Players/GMs guide.
For your examination and comment, I include the covers to the two books and a mock up of an interior page.
You should be able to click to see larger versions of the images.