Brand Interview – Peter Thorpe, Designer & Illustrator

Brand Interview – Peter Thorpe, Designer & Illustrator

Peter Thorpe by Steve Mann

Peter Thorpe by Steve Mann


How long has your company been in business? Please tell us a bit about your company, its mission, goals…
I started working as a commercial artist/illustrator in 1976 in New Orleans, my home town. I did magazine illustration, design work, design and illustration for t-shirts for the Mardi Gras market, etc. While in college in San Francisco I expanded to advertising illustration, and when I moved to New York City in 1980 I added book cover design and illustration, which is still my main category of work.

Do you donate to charities? Tell us about that also and why.
I have donated to space research… and other science related orgs or non-profits.  Not as good as donating to a children’s charity, but I do believe that advancement in science will help us all.

How did you know what typeface (font) would be right for your company wordmark or logo? If your logo has an illustration, describe why that art was the right thing, animal, place, object, etc…
I knew the fonts would be right because Susan Newman gave them to me (true)… though not for logo use specifically.  They were possible fonts for a book cover job we were working on.  Retro Bold and Badloc ICG.  They went well together and I have used those fonts since for my promos.

Peter Thorpe Design & Illustration logo

How did you decide on the right color palette to fit your company look and feel?

How did you decide which type of designer to work with, or did you design your own identity and web presence?
I did it all myself.

In what order did you present your company to the world? Did you start with marketing and products, or website, blog and social media?
As I started in the 70s, pre computer era, I visited art directors and showed a portfolio. In some cases a portfolio was mailed.  I created my website in 1999, and have done social media for a few years now.

Natural Suspect and Moonblind cover designs

How long after the launch of your company did you start pitching in social media?
About a quarter of a century.

Did you do research or study any software, take webinars, teleclasses, before approaching any area of your marketing or web presence?
I did not take any formal lessons for the web work that I do. I started in the late 90s with simple web programs and followed the instructions, got some help from friends who knew more about web work than I, and then just kept going. And I still get some good suggestions from current art directors that I work with as well as good friends who are designers too. Plus I’ve been known to Google a problem…and a good answer is likely to be out there.

Do you advertise locally in newspapers and/or nationally in magazines? Are they effective?

Do you advertise online using Google, Facebook or on other company sites? Are they effective?
Well, I have my own web site,, which has brought in work by itself.  From there I link to my LinkedIn and Facebook pages, but so far those pages have been more of a social experience for me. I also link to my gallery in Arizona, Novaspace, and that has generated sales.

When you printed your products, packaging, business cards and other print marketing did you choose an online printer or visit a local vendor?
Both… Daniels Graphics, Asheville and online with Overnight Prints.

Did you know anything about different types of papers, when you wanted to print your marketing materials?
Yes, I had quite a good education in college re paper. For the Tony Hillerman book cover series, I always used hand made paper (from New York Central art supply) for the illustrations.

tony hillerman booc cover design by Peter Thorpe

Have you ever used “green” technology in printing, using FSC certified papers or recycled paper and if not, how likely are you at trying this on a next project?
No, and I should.

If you sell products, are they produced in the U.S.A. or abroad?
Rocket paintings and other originals have been sold in several countries, but produced here.

Is there anything you haven’t yet tackled, but will want to do soon?
Painting in oils. As of now, all my artwork is in acrylics. Also, I’d like to get out of html land and on to web 2.0… just a matter of learning the stuff.

Guise of Mercy and on Spec Magazine

To learn more about Peter Thorpe’s design & illustration, visit the links below:


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