This exercise is to design a suite of three book covers for any three HG Wells books. As a result of doing this exercise and showing the results to my mum, I discovered that she had afternoon tea with HG Wells when she was around eight years old, with her father, in HG Wells’ home on Regents Park Crescent in London. She says, in the way small children observe and recollect only odd details, that HG Wells had a large bowl of artificial fruit on his coffee table. Anyway, here are some of my notes, leading up to the visual experiments I did…..
I moved on from the brainstorming (which also involved looking at previous book covers for HG Wells books) to quick thumbnail sketches of possible approaches.
I realised that certain books lend themselves much more simply to design solutions than others. The book The Shape of Things to Come was much more difficult as it didn’t seem to ‘go’ with the other two I picked: Mr Kipps and The Country of the Blind. I thought coming up with a suite having these three diverse titles would add a layer of challenge so I stuck with them. The trials and developments are below.
I came up with the idea of an orange background by serendipity. I realised as I was developing it that I was echoing the old and original Penguin book design, which I am very fond of. I was playing around with a fantastic new iPad app called Skribl, which is a flexible vector drawing tool. I thought it was worth pushing myself to use it effectively, as a mobile alternative to Illustrator. It turns out that it really is a very good app. I was drawing little figures with the app, and had the camera on and realised I could photograph my thigh and use the textured skin surface as a background. It didn’t really work, but led to the idea of working with orange. I tried having the figure at the top and then the bottom. I tried a San Serif font but thought a more classical serif font would work better with such classic literature.
Then I moved on to experiment with the orange backgrounds…..
I was beginning to like the effect, but really was not happy with the little figure drawings I had done with my first go with Skribl. I moved on to the challenge of a cover for The Shape of Things to Come. I felt a burning chaotic earth shape might be the way to go. I used the app ArtRage to produce a big orange fireball which I then manipulated. I then tried a vector fireball drawing…..
Then I came up with this quick swirl, and felt it worked well and was a design format that would work across the three titles.
More experiments with photos of HG Wells and a blind folded man and I felt I was progressing….