A Vagabond in Barbary is a riotous travel book from 1930 that deserved a new life and a great design. The editions available before the Island Trader publication were 90 years old and largely forgotten. We gave the book a complete facelift.

Client: Island Trader

Project: Print book, ebook, as well as an updated map for a classic travelogue. The cover design had to be unique but also part of a distinctive series of the author’s works.

Date: September 2020

Cover design: The book got a new cover that imitates the style of vintage travel posters. The story takes place in North Africa in the late 1920’s, so the cover had to be a distinctive representation of the region and the era. It also needed to match the previous Harry L. Foster book (A Beachcomber in the Orient) published by Island Trader to create a recognisable book series. I created the main image from scratch based on vintage photos of the Blue Gate in Fez, Morocco. It sports a distinctive dark foreground that matches that of Beachcomber. The typefaces enforce the 20’s vibe and they are easy to read even at thumbnail size.

Interior design: The interior was designed to match the other books in the series. The typeface used was Garamond, which is an easy-to-read font of timeless elegance. It’s combined with Gill Sans for the contrasting, classic headers.

Illustrations: The original first edition included route maps as inserts, which were sadly lost. The client, however, wanted to include a map so I designed one that matches the style of the other books in the series.

Ebook conversion: I converted the book into digital files and thoroughly tested it on a variety of devices. The glossary in the ebook has interactive pop-up notes. The illustrations have metadata to make the book fully accessible.

Check out A Vagabond in Barbary – Annotated Edition on Amazon:

Return to the portfolio page, or get in touch – I’d love to work on your book next!