Corto Maltese: The Ballad of the Salt Sea

Corto Maltese: The Ballad of the Salt Sea
Corto Maltese full cover and flaps design.

McD Workshop’s Chris McDonnell designed the new cover for this English language edition of Corto Maltese: The Ballad of the Salt Sea by Hugo Pratt for Universe which published it in 2012. Chris’s job also included taking the existing official comic page files from the Pratt estate and flowing the new English translation by Hall Powell into the panels. A new font was created from letters scanned directly from the hand lettering in an early Italian language edition in an attempt to be loyal to the original work as well as to take advantage of the compact letter forms. Pratt’s characters tend to be very wordy, which requires efficient use of word balloon space. Chris also used that edition to scan artwork that was used on the cover and in other graphic details that he designed on the flaps and front matter.

Corto Maltese: The Ballad of the Salt Sea
Initial designs directions for the cover.
Corto
Initial designs that are part of the final cover direction. That “Corto Maltese” bubble lettering is scanned from the cover of the old Italian edition, and was ultimately placed on the inside flap of this edition.

Also see another comics translation project that McD Workshop worked on with Universe previously, Tunes.

Corto Maltese: The Ballad of the Salt Sea
Example of the source lettering that was adapted into a font.

Corto Maltese: The Ballad of the Salt Sea

Corto Maltese: The Ballad of the Salt Sea

Corto Maltese: The Ballad of the Salt Sea

Corto Maltese: The Ballad of the Salt Sea

Corto Maltese: The Ballad of the Salt Sea

Corto Maltese: The Ballad of the Salt Sea