Page 40: “Your Brief is to create three cover designs for three books of H.G. Wells. They have to work as a set and establish his books as timeless fiction. ” The Designs don’t need to be finished but i need to have at least sketches of them finished.
Besides “War of The Worlds” my knowledge about other books of H. G. Wells was thin. I know many other books by its title but i would need to research their stories and meanings to create designs for it. I started mind mapping the most striking facts about both his books and Wells himself while surfing from Wikipedia article to the other. I knew i would need to do a fair amount of secondary/ visual research to find patterns in book design, how to design a spine and what common keywords were used for Wells by other designers.
My chosen books are
“The War of the Worlds”,
“The Invisible Man”
“Island of Dr. Moreau”
Secondary (visual) Research
MindMapping and Lateral Thinking
I’ve created MindMaps for each Book to find keywords associated with the books content. The obvious ones as well as more radical approaches or associations with the stories.
All three books have to form a set, so they need to have recurring patterns. To achieve a timeless feeling i want to keep the designs as simple as possible. That is timeless and easier to form recurring patterns with. Probably I’ll keep the colors and Typography the same across all three books.
War of the Worlds: Invasion; Aliens; Surprise. Machines and Aliens is quite the obvious choice. But it works very well and most books have it on their cover. A more lateral idea (lateral thinking) was to use bacteria and pollen as a background of the cover: SPOILER – That’s was defeats the alien invaders at the end. After some research i came back to the initial idea of featuring the traditional “Tripod” machine. To still give it a twist i searched for analogies in nature and found the jellyfish. It looks amazyngly similar like the aliens, has a mysterious and timeless look and is minimal enough to keep the balance to the other books.
The Island of Dr. Moreau: Animals; Dangerous; Genetics; Mutations; Experiments. I wanted to feature the animals on the cover. My first idea was to design a “DIY” Kit to create a papercraft human/animal hybrid. After some sketches, i realized that it would take too much time and i would loose the simplicity which i want to keep.
Visual Research revealed a lot of Old School, vintage book designs for it. I pictured a doctor on an island creating scientific drawings of his experiments and the animals. I wanted to use these drawings for my Cover.
The Invisible Man: invisible; Man; Hat; Experiments; silouette, mysterious. I got the idea of leaving out a design completely right away. I wanted to use typography only, and change its colors so it fades almost in to the “all white” background. It’s almost invisible while being mysterious at the same time.
War of the Worlds
My first sketches focused on the obvious Machines and “Tripods” attacking Earth. I had plenty of reference and was straight forward but it didn’t feel unique enough. Too many designs are already featuring the machines. I went back to my Mind Map and searched for more radical subjects. I liked the idea of using an analogy, different from the subject of the book but similar enough to see it in its context.I eventually stumbled across a picture of a Jellyfish. With its tentacles and long body it seems quite extrateterstial. I searched for a vintage illustration of jellfish and built it in to my designs.
For the Book title i needed something heavy as the design itself was simple. I’ve found the type “Aileron Heavy” to be a good match. I’ve centered it and increased the weight of the important words to give them more importance. Publisher and Wells’ name are in a smaller size of the same Font. An additional thick black border goves it more balance and timeless look. I want to keep both title and border equal across all books. This makes sure they belong together.
Island of Dr. Moreau
I wanted to have animals and their mutations on the cover. I didnt want to use the island or “jungle” subjects. Inspired by my previous design with the jellyfish, i wanted to keep it similar. I liked the idea of using vintage scientific drawings. They always feels somehow experimental and weird. Like Dr. Moreau.
The Invisible Man
I got the idea of leaving out a design completely right away. I wanted to use typography only, and change its colors so it fades almost in to the “all white” background. It’s almost invisible while being mysterious at the same time.