Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Woman On The Edge of Time - Project book cover

Created in my first year of University, this is a book cover redesign based on the book 'Woman On The Edge of Time' by Marge Piercy. It is a very complex & disturbing book, but a good read, if hard to understand at times. It explores many themes, primarily feminism, racism & sexuality, and also hierarchy and superiority among classes of people, slavery, science & advancement.

I wanted to create a cover that showed how disturbing the book was, and showed how the female protagonist felt during the story, being mentally tortured, scarred and broken down by the asylum. I experimented with chalks, drawing tallies & portal swirls, drawing on my wall to achieve a realistic effect.

UPDATE: I have been in talks with the great designer & illustrator M.S Corley, see my post on him below, and he has given me loads of great tips on how I can improve my book cover. I need to make the writing along the spine thicker, so it's easier to read over the white background behind it. Among other tips, he really enjoyed the concept behind my design, and thought it was clever, which is ace to hear from a professional book cover designer. I really appreciate the time he took out of his busy schedule to look at my work & critique it for me. I will update it soon, and repost it; it is one of my favourite pieces of work after all

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

M.S Corley

I recently had the spur to look for redesigned book covers after seeing one or two recent redesigns that I really liked. I then came across the blog of an american graphic designer and illustrator called M.S Corley. He has recreated the book covers of several very well known book series, namely Harry Potter, A Series Of Unfortunate Events & The Chronicles of Narnia. These series of books, shown below, have all been designed with the Marber's grid template to represent the original 1960s Penguin books style. He tried to find well known scenes from the books and incorporate them as part of the cover; this way he couldn't give the story away but keep people intriguied whilst appealing to readers who already know what that scene represents. And the most important thing is that it is kept so simple! Some of these are obvious and yet they work well. Though all are very similar in the way they are designed (vectors with specific colours per book & textures to each background), they are all unique and can easily be identified not only as individual books but as a whole series too. He also realised that the colours match up too :)

It all really gets my creative juices going, and makes me think how I could do a redesign of some books that I like.

These Harry Potter books hold the same style throughout. Some elements of photography have been used I think, such as the letter in the first design. But these have been combined with vector based images in, what si my opinion, very Saul Bass inspired. All of them are genius, and follow a colour code; apart from the base cream like colour, each book has a corresponding colour which follows from the bar through to the image. All have a overlay of texture, which I would love to find out how to do, as it adds an element of depth and perception to each piece of work.

Again, like the Harry Potter books, the Series of Unfortunate Events books follow a set pattern, with corresponding colours that represent each book reflecting in both the image and the text (this is opposed to the Harry Potter template however, which had colour in the bar and not as the text alone). Textures have evidently been used again. In these designs however, there is a very common design aspect. There is an eye in each picture; if you are a large fan of these books, like me, and know what the eye represents, then you will think this is a very clever, cunning way of implementing what the story is about, and how the conveniently named Unfortunate Events occur in the story, and that the eye of the villain is always lurking in these stories somehow.

In a way, I feel more inspired by these book designs than the Harry Potter ones; however, I really like them both, and I feel more inspired! All the books below follow the same template as I have described, as you can see for yourself.