A small number of people, motivated by an insatiable greed for power and wealth, and backed by a pinstripe army of enablers (and sometimes real armies too), have driven the world to the brink of destruction. They are the supervillains of corruption and war, some with a power greater than the nation-state and the capacity to derail the world order. Propping up their opulent lifestyles is a mess of crime, violence and deception on a monumental scale. But there is a fightback: small but fearless groups of brilliant undercover investigators closing in on them, one step at a time.

In Terrible Humans, Patrick Alley, co-founder of Global Witness and the author of Very Bad People, introduces us to some of the world’s worst warlords, grifters and kleptocrats who can be found everywhere from presidential palaces to the board rooms of some of the world’s best-known companies. Pitted against them, the book also follows the people unravelling the deals, tracking the money and going undercover at great risk. From the oligarch charged with ordering the killing of an investigative journalist to the mercenary army seizing the natural resources of an entire African country, this is a whirlwind tour of the dark underbelly of the world’s super powerful and wickedly wealthy, and the daring investigators dragging them into the light.

We were asked to design this follow-up title for Patrick Alley. The first title we also designed. We first designed a Photoshop composite cover:

After discussing with the editorial team, we created a simpler graphic look.

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The second book in the series should be designed to complement the first book and look like they belong together as a set. One consistent design element should be the skull figure, which was featured prominently on the first book’s cover. Therefore, the skull figure should also be included in the design of the second book cover to maintain a cohesive and recognisable visual identity for the series.