Finding Karen springs from a decade of research into Solomon’s paternal great-great grandmother Karen Sorensen Rasmussen, who converted to Mormonism in Denmark and emigrated to the United States in 1859. Held up to Solomon throughout childhood as an icon of feminine heroism, a stoic handcart immigrant who helped establish Zion in Utah, Karen became equally emblematic of Solomon’s own strong-willed determination and of everything Solomon found lacking in herself.
The map in the background of this cover is a map of wagon cart trails across Utah, most likely used in Karen's time. The ripped map was inspired by the fact that this book required a lot of paper archival work. These were not digital family records, this book was researched in libraries. I also added some texture to give the map a slightly more dated appearance, adding to the fun of the ancestral mystery. As for the ship, this is a historical image of the William Trapscott, the actual ship Karen came across on.
Another direction I explored for this cover design that was not chosen was the idea of a family tree. In this book the author discovers a lot about her ancestor, Karen, and also several other relatives. I placed the names of her family on a literal tree and made them look "carved." Also for this cover I used a typeface that was inspired by the handwriting of Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism. This cover option is shown below. I was disappointed to not get to use this typeface option on the final cover, but I settled for a typeface that still had a handwritten theme and fit the personal feeling of this story.
For this title I designed the cover and interior along with marketing materials including a postcard and a web banner sized for desktop and mobile. The full jacket is forthcoming.
An unchosen cover option exploring the idea of a family tree with the names of the author's family "carved" into a literal tree. This cover option used a typeface inspired by Jospeh Smith, the founder of Mormonism.