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 A Book Cover Redesign   of a Classic Novel 

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A New Look

In my typography class we were assigned a project where we had to choose a classic novel and design a book cover for it.

The book I chose was The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, which I read in high school. Based on the plot of the book, I wanted to incorporate a beetle or some sort of insect into the book cover. I used the repeating title of the book to form the outline of some sort of bug or beetle. From there, I was critiqued and advised to begin playing with different typefaces and colors.

In my second draft, I used the opening lines from the text itself to form the outline of the bug instead of repeating the title.


My critiques for these draft covers were that the colors were all wrong, but the Futura typeface was correct, with sentence case letters for the outline and capital letters for the title and author.

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Here I focused on using warm tones for the background and text on the cover. Additionally, using the same color schemes, I experimented with using negative space within a field of text to create the bug outline and make room for the title and author, which was very successful.


My professor then guided me towards treating the spaces behind the title/author as stickers haphazardly stuck onto the book cover. Additionally, I was told to watch The Umbrellas of Cherbourg for color inspiration.

After watching The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, I knew I wanted to try using bright colors for my book cover. I made sure the background color had enough contrast with the running text so that both were visible and that the “stickers” read as the top, most-readable layer.

This color scheme was the favorite of the bunch by far. I could have left it as is, but my professor was curious as to what this color scheme would look like on my original design, with the plain background and words creating the outline.

Both versions of my book cover (word outline and negative space outline for the bug) were very successful. In order to use both for my final, I was guided by my professor to treat one as the back cover and make it seem like the viewer is seeing the title and author “stickers” from the back.

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