Helen Yentus, the art director of Riverhead Books, designed two covers for Chang-rae Lee’s new novel, “On Such a Full Sea,” which is being published today. The regular hardcover has a hand-lettered jacket, with the book’s title inscribed under a bob hairdo representing Lee’s iconic heroine, Fan. (The same image is used for digital copies of the novel, although it won’t protect your e-reader from hot coffee.)
A second, limited edition of the novel comes in a sleek white slipcase made on the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer that evokes the futuristic setting of the novel. In the video, Yentus shares her early pencil sketches and describes how they evolved into the 3D printed slipcase, which she designed in collaboration with the MakerBot Studio.
A limited edition like this, Yentus says, “gives people the opportunity to have something to hold onto that is not available in digital form.” Chang-rae Lee made a similar point during a recent visit to MakerBot headquarters, in Brooklyn, NY, where he saw for himself the 3D printing technology used to make the slipcase for his latest novel. “What I like about this is that it revisits the book as an object,” said Lee, who prefers to read on paper “even though I write on a screen. The pleasure I get from reading is something tactile.”