Kathryn Downing
Visual Design, UX Design, Creative Direction


Iowa History Journal Cover Art

I’ve had fun working on cover art for the Iowa History Journal on a freelance basis. My first job was colorizing a black and white photo of Smokey Smith. I used Photoshop to remove any major dust and scratches. Then I added extra background so there would be room for the cover elements before adding color. I did not design the final cover, but I am showing it here for context.

My second cover for the journal was to come up with a cover that would illustrate a feature story about Iowa’s baseball history. The owner of the magazine collected and provided several scans of vintage baseball cards that he wanted to use. I curated them down to reflect the time range and made sure to include the players most mentioned in the article. I chose to tie them all together with a weathered background that mimicked an old baseball glove. I also mocked up the cover to show how I envisioned text being placed, but I did not lay out the final cover.

For this cover, I was again commissioned to colorize a black and white image. I searched online for images to get the uniform colors accurate. Again, I added vertical space to the image so that it would fit the dimensions of the cover.

This issue told the story of how Japan attempted to send bombs to the US during World War II. I was provided an image of the balloon and decided to take an illustrative approach — combining an ink rural landscape and the rising sun of Japan’s flag.