Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The Outsiders - Book Covers

I wanted to look at existing book covers to gain inspiration for the book cover I am designing for The Outsiders. As the book is a puffin book I thought it would be useful to look specifically at Puffin Book covers, as this will also give me an idea of the audience I am designing for. 

I firstly looked at the previous winners of the Penguin Random House design awards for the puffin cover. I thought this would be helpful to see what the judges have liked previously. 

 I was really impressed with a lot of the designs. 

This is a very different and contemporary design of the wind in the willows but it still communicates the story well. This is a classic story that has been communicated to a modern day audience which is what the brief for The Outsiders is asking me to do. 
The flat and bold colours give the modern look. 

Although this design is slightly more traditional with the style of illustration it still looks contemporary with the minimal colour scheme, colour scheme is also something I need to consider. I really like the layout of this cover as the leaves frame the focus image. 

Hand drawn type is used in this cover which works with the overall aesthetic, linking the title visually is something to consider as this will be a key part of the cover and the brief specifically refers to type. 

Again a very modern cover with really bright colours. I love the way the designer has made use of the spine within the design, this realy clever and links the three sides well, whilst still ensuring that the front cover works on its own. 

This looks like it is aimed at a younger audience, which is relevant to the story, The Outsiders is aimed at teenagers so I wouldn't want my design to look as though it is aimed at such a young audience but I again like the link created between the three sections. The type is a key part of this cover filling a large space but this works well as it is very much in keeping with the style of the design. 

It is interesting to see two very different designs for the same story, but both are clearly aimed at the same younger audience. This is another really interesting spine and this is almost a key feature of the cover. 

The colours used in this cover give a vintage look but I still feel the overall design would appeal to a modern audience as it is so different. There is also a real contrast between the bright colours and the more muted background, this brings the design more up to date.

This almost looks photographic and creates a real impact. I am not sure how the designers has created this but perhaps I could experiment with different production methods such as hand drawn or paper cut and possibly photograph or scan in after. 

This looks very hand renderd which again creates a unique look, very different to many of the James and The Giant Peach book covers I have seen. I think it is interesting how one element has been continued from the front cover onto the back as this links the different sections well. 

This is very modern and bright and nothing like any Alice in Wonderland book cover I have seen, but this is what makes it a success as it is definitely a unique interpretation. 

The previous images were all from the penguin random house design awards website. 

I then continued to look at other book covers

The autumnal colours work with the story of the wind in the willows well but the type is what makes this cover appealing. There is also a strong consistency between the front and back which is very important. 

The same designer created this cover for the Big Sleep which is actually a penguin book and not a puffin but I really like the simplicity as although there is a lot of unfilled space this works well as the elements are arranged and laid out in a pleasing way that draws the audience into the centre of the cover. 

I came across this cover and although I am unfamiliar with the book I really like the way it has been broken into sections and different images been inserted. The colour scheme is really simple but the illustrations are quite detailed and so this balances the detail and ensures it is not overwhelming. 

Again I am not familiar with some of these books but the covers are very simple but still engaging with the different textures used. This shows how simple, sans serif fonts can be used and still be a main focus through the layout of the cover. 

From this research I have realised that I need to ensure the front, spine and back cover have a strong visual link but the front cover also works on its own, the title needs to be clear and engaging in addition to working with the visual style used, I have also realised how important colour is and I think I want to work with a simple colour scheme as the covers I feel work the best have simple colour schemes often with only around two or three colours used. 

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