Project – The Brief
'Touching the Void'
Illustrated by Geoff Grandfield
31 December 2008
Cover binding, frontispiece and internal illustrations for a new edition of Touching the Void by Joe Simpson, a true life account of a mountaineering expedition that nearly ended in tragedy.
Book Title: Touching the Void.
Publisher: the Folio Society
(Blurb from the back cover).
Touching The Void tells the story of a young climber, Joe Simpson and his friend, Simon Yates, who set out in June, 1985, to ascend the unclimbed West face of the remote 21,000 ft. Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. They manage to reach the summit before disaster strikes, leaving Simon with an agonising decision to make – to cut the rope holding Joe or to surely die with him. A few days later Simon staggered into Base Camp, exhausted and frostbitten, to tell their non-climbing companion that Joe was dead. For three days he wrestled with the guilt of his decision. Then a cry in the night woke them and they found Joe, badly injured, crawling through the snowstorm in a delirium.
Joe’s struggle for survival and the seemingly impossible journey he was forced to make, is not only an epic tale of endurance but also an outstanding literary achievement.
‘An absolute classic of mountaineering...A truly astonishing account of suffering and fortitude’ Sunday Times
Target audience – should appeal to both sexes, sporty types, adventurers, people with a thirst for the outdoors, and a spirit for adventure, danger and adrenaline seekers, people who read both non-fiction and fiction, and enjoy a story with a twist. Not forgetting the armchair adventurers, travel readers and those who who like to do, but cannot.
The cover image will be something to do with climbing, mountains, wilderness and should portray a taste of the story to come. It is important that the feeling of the remoteness and scale of the mountains is portrayed – maybe looking up at the mountains and vast skies, and should include images for both the cover and inside pages with maybe one image leading one scene on to another scene in the book.
In terms of style, a feeling of minimalist simplicity, both in detail and also in colours would be preferable. Cool colours blues, greys, whites, all the shades that would be present in the snowy mountains. Maybe a screen or lino print would lend itself to the image, letting the story do the talking and giving the book that classic adventure feel. It is strongly recommended that you read the book before you start the illustration..