For the third cover in my Bowie Book Club project, I tackled RD Laing's groundbreaking exploration of the nature of madness, The Divided Self. I imagine Bowie read this one more than a few times.
- This is one of several Very Intimidating Titles on the list, due to the fact it already has a definitive cover. Martin Bassett's overlapping circles are inseparable from this book – it's a design that has appeared on numerous Pelican/Penguin editions over the years.
- They were shooting a Laing biopic, Mad to be Normal, in York recently. Fantastic cast: David Tennant, Gabriel Byrne, Elisabeth Moss. We spotted Byrne in our corner shop one night, so of course Dr B, possibly the world's only Stigmata superfan, snuck up behind him and whispered "you're amazing" at him. He looked terrified.
- I started off using a shot of Tennant as Laing for the portrait, but it kept ending up looking like a Doctor Who novel. I even tried merging Laing and Tennant's faces together, as if one was regenerating into the other … this only made matters worse.
- There is a disappointing absence of Doctor Who novels on Bowie's list. Would anyone notice if I snuck one on there?
- The text is set in Bernard. What a wonderful name for a typeface. Bernard. Bernard. Bernard.