Goose Lane Editions has torn the paper off its cover for Secret Life: The Jian Ghomeshi Investigation by Toronto Star reporter Kevin Donovan.
Secret Life details Donovan’s investigation of Ghomeshi, including interviews with 17 women and two men who allege abuse by the former CBC broadcaster. In February, Ghomeshi was acquitted on four counts of sexual assault, with a fifth charge withdrawn in court.
Goose Lane creative director Julie Scriver, who designed the cover, wanted a high-impact look without a lot of visual clutter. “I was really firm in my conviction that it needed to be very straight-up and be immediately recognizable, but not quite him or the perfect coiffed picture that we are so used to seeing,” she says. “We’ve all wrestled with our own sense of identity with Ghomeshi because he’s been such a significant icon culturally in Canada.”
Scriver says that achieving the right illustrative rendering of the source photo was the most challenging part of the design process. “I found the photograph – the expression and the angle and the feel of the base portraiture early on,” she says. “I wanted to play with the notion of a mask. Also, part of what is so well achieved in Kevin’s writing is that he really peels away many of the layers that he wrestles with as a writer and we wrestle with in terms of notions of propriety and the ideas of public and private, and the multiplicity of things that are at play in the investigation. I wanted to be sure we were finding a balance point in communicating that it’s not black and white.”