The Slaughterman's Daughter

Who is the publisher?
Schocken Books; Alfred A. Knopf.

What are the typefaces being used?
Lydia and Handwriting.

Where is the image from?
Original artwork created by The High Road Design.

What is the genre/audience?
This novel is a literary, Jewish tale of two sisters in late 19th century Russia—a comedy of errors with enough misadventure and intrigue to stupefy the Coen brothers.

​​​​​​What is the book about?
As a young girl, Fanny felt an uncontrollable pull toward her father's profession (ritual slaughterer). Under his reluctant guidance, she became a master with a knife. And though she long ago gave up that unsuitable profession (now the wife of a cheesemaker and a mother of five), Fanny still keeps the knife tied to her leg. It finally comes in handy when she faces the dangers of being a Jewish woman traveling alone in czarist Russia. With the help of a mute and mysterious ex-soldier, she sets off to track down a man and bring him home.

Did the project have any unique struggles?
This project was my first after maternity leave and also my first during the very start of the pandemic. Adjusting to new motherhood and working simultaneously in a makeshift home office was not a unique challenge, but nonetheless a major challenge! With both technological and art budget restrictions, I started out the design process the old fashioned way, with pencil and paper.

Do you have any sketches that led to the final?
Here’s where it started (yikes!).
Did you collaborate with anyone? How was that process?
After getting the concept approved by the editor and author and with the budget blessing of John Gall and Kelly Blair I was able to hire someone much more talented than I to recreate the original concept. Jon Kutt at The High Road Design was a true gent—professional, prompt, and gave us exactly what we had requested and some.

Were there any solutions outside the final you'd like to share?
I found this alternate type treatment satisfying, but it was an unfortunate legibility concern.
What's something unique you learned while working on this project?
How crucial collaboration is!
janethansen  |  instagram       
Janet Hansen is an associate art director at Alfred A. Knopf. Her work has been featured by AIGA, Artsy, It's Nice That, The New York Times, and the Type Directors Club. She lives in a little old house in Montclair, New Jersey with her husband, daughter, and two whippets.
Back to Top