Thursday, August 5, 2010

Florida, Flamingos and Frank Sinatra

One of my vintage postcards, this very artistic painting of flamingos was once part of a hand-painted mural in the Flamingo Hotel, torn down in the late 1950s for an apartment complex.

The cover of a cool book I designed in 2007, Miami Beach Memories, written by Joann Biondi. The main cover photo was by a fifties model and photographer Bunny Yeager. It was originally black and white and I colorized it for this cover. The smaller duotone photos on the left were selected from the interior photos. When I design a book, I pick the fonts to be used in it, select the photos to be used and then design the interior layouts. I also do all of my own production work, working with the editor to make sure everything fits and reads properly. 

This book is not a fluff piece for Miami Beach, even though this cover may look like it at first glance. The interior is black and white, and deals with Miami Beach's history from 1920 through 1969. Besides the fabulous architecture and the Hollywood stars that claimed Miami Beach as their own, it includes the dark history of anti-Semitism and racism in each decade. The author relied heavily on oral interviews with the movers and shakers of these periods and is thus a true-to-life testimonial to the great, and the not-so-great aspects of America's fun-in-the-sun capital city. For a better description of the book, click over to here, and you can read some reviews by people that bought the book. And yes, Frank Sinatra is featured on several pages with great vintage photographs.


  1. I recognize the name Bunny Yeager. She worked with Bettie Page in the 50s.

    Nice picture choice.

  2. Thank you! I heard from Bunny in 2007 just after the book was published. She loved it and was having fun going to book signings with the author if I remember correctly. I absolutely ADORE hearing from the authors and/or photographers of the books I design, and I heard from both of them for this book. Joann could not have been sweeter either. Many designers just move on from one book or magazine article to another, but I truly enjoy hearing from the writers and have struck up friendships with a few that have asked for me to design their subsequent books. I'll post more of my books on the blog soon.

  3. Thanks for posting this Casey, I have been looking forward to seeing some of your work.

  4. thanks Mare. I thought I could just pick up the cover photos from Amazon, but they seem to have deleted them. I have to find the books around this place and scan the covers which don't fit on my scanner. i had to scan Miami Beach in 2 pieces and photoshop them together. I'm going to scan more covers tomorrow though.