Mark Haskell Smith: ‘When writers get together and start drinking, talk invariably turns to book jacket horror stories. Almost every writer has a story of seeing the cover of their book for the first time, opening the file and feeling a rush of vertigo, a panic attack, a sense of dissociation from reality; they feel the sting of betrayal and the heartbreak of being misunderstood. Tears flow, obscenities are howled, and editors and agents receive whiny, sniveling phone calls. Writers wonder if the designer read the book, and if they did, how could they get it so wrong? It feels like years of hard work have been mocked, a writer’s dream shat upon, all because the designer really, really likes handblocked script. None of this happened when I worked with Dog and Pony. Not only did they read the book, but they got it, and then they played with it, allowing the humor and energy of the story to inform the design. In a weird way the cover they designed became the opening chapter of the book. It’s rare in a writer’s life when they look at a cover and say, “fuck, yeah!” But that is exactly what I did when I saw the cover of RAW. I can’t wait to see what Dog and Pony do with my next book.’


Dog and Pony Amsterdam believes the foundations of design are rooted in strong ideas. Our team stands for craftsmanship, contemporary and distinctive design. We create media-defined solutions that have won awards at national and international level.

We work for clients including The Royal Concertgebouw, NPO3, Achtung, Lebowski Publishers and Grove Atlantic.
If you'd like to find out more about what we do, we'd be happy to invite you for a chat.