COVER STORY: PLAN 1919 (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

I had a pretty good idea about how I would approach the cover for Plan 1919 even before John Gorkowski had designed the game. Part of this is that I had spent several months trying (and failing) to design my own game on the topic before Mary and I asked Mr. Gorkowski to take a whack at it. Which is one of the great things about running a games company: if you want a game to exist on a topic, but can't do it yourself, you can ask someone else whose talents are better suited to that topic. And with several games on the Great War under his belt, Mr. Gorkowski just made sense.

Mary and I actually had the pleasure of working with John previously on the folio editions of his In The Trenches for Tiny Battle Publishing. And this is the other reason why I had a pretty good idea about my approach to the cover for Plan 1919; in some ways, it was similar to my approach for the covers for the In The Trenches games. If you've seen those covers, you're probably saying, "now wait a minute, Tom, those covers look nothing like the Plan 1919 cover!"

But there is some commonality. In both cases, I started the process by defining my color palette, and in both cases, I did so by looking at period posters. (The printed covers for Trenches came out a little too dark, which spoils the effect somewhat.) For Plan 1919, I used this poster's red and yellow, slightly modified, as a specific point of reference:

WWI recruitment poster

Like many of my covers, it's dominated by the typographical elements. In this case, I went with a nice, chunky look for the main title, complemented by something a little more art nouveau for the subtitle and designer's credit. In the original version of the cover, the small WWI era tank was below the text, and was accentuated by the white stripe behind it.

1st pass

By the time we had hired Ilya Kudriashov to do the map, Mary had convinced me that the white stripe just wasn't working, and the tank would be better situated above the title. At the same time, we refined our company logo to make it a little simpler and sleeker. Thus, the final cover:

final cover

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