This is my final book cover design for 'More Than This' by Patrick Ness. The design itself is based around the concept of digital vs nature, as this theme is very strong throughout the book. The street on the cover is supposed to represent Seth's home town in England, which was hand drawn by myself, by patch-working multiple houses together to create a scene just like what's described in the book.
When designing, it was important for me to keep reminding myself of the different elements that were kept a secret, and so there were certain things that I had to avoid giving away. I felt like the digital glitches were just enough to evoke curiosity in the viewer, while at the same time create a good representation of the story inside.
I chose to keep the background of my design monochrome, so that the digital glitches would contrast well against it. I used green as I felt like that it gave the most obvious connection to something digital, as it reminds people of the old coding screens on computers, as well as circuit boards. The colour palette is also very similar to a piece my Dan Mountford, which I referenced in my research, which really helped me to develop my design into something really visually striking and effective.
I also decided to fill the entire spine in green, so that it would look like a big 'glitch' and would also tie in the whole book. I also made sure that some of the spine colour overlapped over to the front and back covers, to add to the overall aesthetic. I didn't want to go overboard with the green squares, as I didn't want them to dominate the design. In my experiments I found that simple was better, and so kept this in mind in my final thing.
To really enhance the digital element, and to give my book another dimension, I hand cut and placed gold and silver vinyl shapes. This enhanced my design, as well as echoing the textures and patterns as seen on circuit boards. Another texture that I added to my design was the 'grunge' background, which also mimics the condition of the deserted world that Seth found himself in. I felt like it was important to have some elements of texture on the book cover, as it helps to stop the book from looking 'flat', but also I think that the distressed look almost looks like the book itself could have been found by Seth in his house: dusty and a bit worn.
The typography of my design was very important for me to get right. Half way my design process I wasn't happy with just placing some text on a page. I really wanted it to interact with the image in some way. During my research process on book cover design, many of the books that stood out to me were the 'clever designs' whereby part or all of the text was integrated into the image. After settling on a street, I started to think about what would naturally occur in the background, and this is what lead me to the idea of telegraph poles and electricity pylons.
After trying out loads of different concepts, I finally managed to narrow it down to my top 2 designs. Both were completely different which is why I liked them for different reasons. It took be absolutely ages to decide on my final design, even after asking multiple people on their preferences I managed to split people's choices. In the end I went for the one that had the very slight majority, and also it was the one which I think stood out more from a distance.
Second design concept mock up
The reason why I loved my other design was because of how the text was made from wires, which I felt like was appropriate for the book. Also the electricity pylons also furthered the whole 'digital' and 'electronic' themes that I was trying to convey. Nevertheless, the design that I chose still conveys this, as it uses wires too, and it also interacts well with the image with the 'T's existing as telegraph poles. Although the rest of the type is relatively simple, I had to do this in order for it to match the style of the pole. I also decided to hand-render the text in order to give it an organic feel, rather than using a generic font on the computer.
Overall I am very pleased with the final outcome. I have really enjoyed the process and challenge of creating a book cover, as I really pushed myself into finding the best and most effective solution in representing the story. I love all of the symbolism that I was able to integrate into the design, and the multitude of textures that really make the book stand out.
Although I chose a final design to hand in, in the real world I wouldn't have to decide myself as it would the the author or artistic director determining the final design. Therefore, my top two designs would be the two that I would present to the client, and then they would choose which one represents the story the best.
- Jason Booher - his simplicity and cleverness of his designs definitely influenced my thought processes and visions that I had for my final book cover design.
- Sarah Coleman - She was one of the typography illustrators that I looked at early in the project, and I loved how she incorporated the text into the image itself.
- Charlotte Day - Perhaps more of a looser connection, but our designs have similarities in the way that the text is kept relatively simple, but it's what surrounds it which makes it stands out.