Among the contemporary book cover designers, poet and visual artist Razib Datta stands out for his unique approach. His styles may appear simple but they portray deeper and often politically charged expressions. An avid reader from a young age, Razib Datta designed covers for the Little Magazine at Chittagong University before coming to Dhaka in 2012 to work on small projects. His professional journey began in full swing from 2014. The Boi Mela is a particularly busy occasion for the talented artist. We caught up with him to find out more about his work.
Do your designs depend upon the content you are working with?
Most of my designs are for people I know, so, I have an idea about their style. However, for novels, I definitely ask about the story to get an idea. I like designing covers for poetry books; I think that there is a sense of freedom to that.
You use the digital medium as opposed to painting the covers by hand. What are the perks of using that platform?
Using the digital medium does not give the same effects as painting the covers by hand, but it is better for editing.
Who are some of your favourite cover artists?
I really admire Dhurba Esh. He became a book cover artist when no one had the courage to take it up as a profession. I also like the works of Sabyasachi Hazra, Sabyasachi Mistry and Tirtha. Artists from Kolkata like Hiron Mitra and Krishnendu Chaki are also brilliant.
What are your thoughts on the current state of cover artists in Bangladesh?
We have many designers in the market now. I think the prospects are good, especially for children's books. Ikri Mikri regularly publishes books for children. Four-colour books are expensive and also take time to work on. Although I am optimistic about the opportunities for book cover artists, this field of work needs more professionalism.