When Elda Rotor asked me to work on illustrations for the Poems By Heart app, my initial idea moved towards making silhouettes of the various poets’ profiles. Very quickly, however, I realized that traditional silhouettes would not be very engaging. The circular frame got me thinking about cameos and shoebox dioramas and helped inspire the final look of the portraits and the poem illustrations.

“To My Last Duchess” stands out as a favorite for the visual challenge the poetry presented (ie: How do you convey “really creepy”?). duchess

Shelley and Whitman were two of my favorite portraits to work on because both poets were staunch social dissidents, iconoclasts in spirit and mind.



While the design principles remained the same, the details in the process made this experience distinct from designing print covers. For Poems By Heart, I was designing collaboratively with the Inkle development team, John L. Morgan, and Elda Rotor as opposed to flying solo on a cover design. The process was less linear; I could see how it looked before the product was finalized, and make modifications along the way.

—Jen Wang, jennifer wang designs.

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