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Cover story: Tina Lobondi discusses her cover for The Poisonwood Bible

To celebrate eighteen years of Barbara Kingsolver’s contemporary classic and international bestseller, The Poisonwood Bible, Faber has partnered with celebrated fashion designer Tina Lobondi on a beautiful new edition. Established in London in 2011, Lobondi’s label combines African heritage with delicate French couture and her blend of elegance and edginess was a perfect fit for Kingsolver’s complex novel. We caught up Lobondi to find out more about her design process for the cover.

 

Hi Tina, it’s such a beautiful cover design and print, you must be so pleased. What were your first thoughts when Faber creative director Donna Payne approached you about collaborating on The Poisonwood Bible?

I actually thought it was a mistake or perhaps I misunderstood Donna. The idea of being part of the project really got me curious to find out more. After our first meeting, I was really excited about the story line and the fact that it is set in Congo.

This is such an iconic book, what was the brief for the cover?

The brief was simply to design what the book inspired me. The story is very strong and we wanted that to be reflected. Donna chose me because she loved the idea of having one of my prints as a possible choice.

What was your design process, and how did you go about narrowing down different prints and textile patterns?

I read the book and the notes and created a list of what I thought touched me the most and also what I pictured in my mind. The sky was very well described and there was a few details that came back quite often so we worked with that.

How did you decide on the final print and what message do you think it provokes from the reader?

The final print was decided by the team. It was amazing to hear their feedback on the drawings. There wasn’t any changes to do with the chosen designs so we were very lucky to have a smooth process.

 

 

The new edition of The Poisonwood Bible is out now.

Find out more about Tina Lobondi’s fashion label here.