From the official description of Anthony Veasna So’s collection of stories:
Afterparties offers an expansive portrait of the lives of Cambodian-Americans. As the children of refugees carve out radical new paths for themselves in California, they shoulder the inherited weight of the Khmer Rouge genocide and grapple with the complexities of race, sexuality, friendship, and family.
We asked designer Elizabeth Yaffe by email why she chose to use Cortado on the cover (repainted by hand) and whether the lettering was her work or that of Monnyreak Ket, who created the stunning illustration. She replied:
I chose Cortado for Afterparties because I love Cortado—it’s often the first typeface I try when looking for a script. I think it does a wonderful job striking a balance between casual, natural, legible, and sophisticated in a way that is so hard to find in a digital script; digital scripts can easily err towards feeling juvenile, which doesn’t work well on literary book covers for adults. I started with a version of the cover that was fully set in Cortado (!) but pivoted to Garage Gothic for the title because of legibility concerns.
In this case, I chose to re-letter it because I wanted the type to engage with the texture of the painting. (I’m hoping, since you had to ask whether Monnyreak or I did it, that I succeeded on that front!)
That said, I often find myself relettering type, especially script, for covers; I want the final result to be just a little less perfect than any digital font can be. I reworked the S and s letterforms here because legibility is always paramount for book cover design and if I’m relettering a font, I’ll make small tweaks to make it more legible.
It can be tough to get a script approved in the first place, so doing everything possible to ensure it’s legible is one fewer hurdle to overcome. Adjusting specific letterforms is also a way to personalize the type for each project.
Additional text on the back cover is set in Clarendon Text and unaltered Cortado.