James Victore on The Bourne Identity

“When I was working with Paul Bacon, I was a book jacket designer. I was doing illustrated paintings. I’d stay up all night doing a painting of a church for a mystery novel. At the time, Paul was doing all of James Clavell and Robert Ludlum’s covers. He was doing The Bourne Identity series – the original hardcovers. There was one that got sent back from Simon and Schuster, and the editor said the reason was the Ludlum thing was the big book look. So ‘Robert Ludlum’ was the top third of the book. ‘The Bourne Identity’ was the lower third of the book. Top half and bottom half, just massive words. In the middle would be a little symbol, a single little circle drawing about two inches wide. Paul did the drawing with gouache with this exquisite little brush. He made this beautiful image of a guy with a gun running across the White House lawn with helicopters. This big [holding thumb and pointer finger less than an inch apart] and it was exquisite. They sent it back and they said, ‘Paul, in the book the guy has a carbine and you’ve painted in a machine gun.’ I listened to that conversation and I said, ‘Okay, from this point on, I am an abstract expressionist. I’m never going to have that fucking conversation with anybody.'”

— James Victore (via Please Make This Look Nice)