|This image is the back, spine, and front – as if you had the book spread open, pages down|
In addition to my letterformula project, I have decided to start another project with a broader focus. The “if I was a book cover” project is going to document my take on designing the covers for a variety of books. As a librarian and English lit major, I’ve had a long standing appreciation for book covers and have encountered plenty of books I wished I could redesign. So that’s what I’ll do here. Sometimes the original book cover design is not so great, sometimes it is. There have been quite a few lovely covers for this book already. That’s not the point. It’s more about trying my hand at this specific area of design while also thinking about all the books I have read and have around.
I imagine in some cases I will print and mock up the covers so I can get a good sense of the design in all dimensions. That will be interesting to see.
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison is one of my favorite books so I decided to start here. The title was where it really started a few days back when I sketched out some letterforms as part of my letterformula documentation. I had been thinking about the title in relation to the letterforms that make it up and the story itself. The initial sketch became the basis for the book cover.
This also happens to be the 60th anniversary of the book’s publication so I worked that into the design as well. To my knowledge, Jean Grae has not written the preface in the real world, but part of the fun of this project is that I can make it up (I doubt this will be the last such mc interpolation I make). I think she would have some interesting things to say. The back cover content is from Random House.
If you haven’t read it, you should check it out.