When I designed the cover, for the 2017 Penguin Student Design Awards. I tried to follow what the brief was asking for – an “imaginative concept”… “appeal to a contemporary readership”… “ fresh perspective and to avoid repeating the obvious iconography”.
To do this I looked back at previous covers and saw that most of them had similar iconography – A key reason I would imagine why they are asking for a change.
To make my covers stand out I looked at what the current covers had, and what they did not have. So my ideas for the book cover would come from a new perspective. I Knew from my own personal experiences that this book was often read by teenages aged 14-16 as apart of their GCSE or other secondary year education and though it would be a good idea to try and design something that suits this audiences that I knew the book has. I also wanted my cover to be self referencing and have a deeper meaning for people that have already read the book – as this is a design choice what I think makes a cover really stands out.
One of the main themes I took from the book – and something I wanted to focus on – was the incidences of youth and growing up in such a hostile place, as seen in the children characters. But mainly scout. To show I used a rather literal symbol of rope to show the parales and juxtaposition between the two – A rope swing, what is used by Scout and Jem in to play showing their incense and youth connected on the other side of the rope with a Noose to show the tormatic times and place they live in – and also link back to another theme of the book, the racism and race relations. I Decided to make this cover design more flat and simplistic as I thought it would look more effective and fitted the brief for a new readership. And although I used a repeated iconography of the Rope Swing I believe the way I used it and the context is something different and what hasn’t been done before and matches the brief for an “Imaginative concept”.
For the Font choices for the font Cover I wanted something to work in harmony with the flat design esques cover design for this I decided to use the Bold “Menlo”. As it worked with the flat design I had and also was very striking and caught the eye, what I thought would be good as it would lead them the the main illustration of the design cover.
For the font I also added a grundy decaying off white texture to one help the cover and the typeparagraph but also to link to the setting of the book, Maycome, and the people and ideas that reside in it. As like the texture their mindsets are very outdated and decaying. It is also quite a literal references to maycomb as the town, and I believe the majority of america at this time, were currently in or coming out of the “Great Depression” so their isn’t a lot of money causing the worn down look of the book. Another character that could be linked to this texture is Boo Radley – and the Radley house what is one of the main building in the book that is show as decaying and old, for the previous reasons and more.
The other type I used for the Spine and Backcover was “Capin” what felt like a lighter and thinner version of of “Menlo” and thus worked very well together. I choose to use it on the back cover as their was a lot more text and I felt it was easier to reed.
For the Back Cover Design I looked at the colours that I had already used for the rope design, what I had in arranged in a pile/stacking shape using the blend tool. The colours that I had reminded me of different skin colours, with a lighter pink shade transitioning down to a darker brown shade. I thought this was a very simple way of self referencing the book’s themes on skin colour and something that wasn’t super apparent on first glance. Also the 4 brush strokes fitted the 3 paragraphs of text and the barcode box nicely.
I choose the colour as I thought it would stand out and immediately catch the eye and appeal to a new audiences.
To make the cover look more balanced and Harmonious I also made each element central (to their relevant area; Front cover, Spine and Back cover)