Classic Book Covers

With quarantine and home office weighing heavily I didn’t want to let my creativity dry up. So, I decided to design some book covers for a handful of literary classics. This was really fun to do because all of these have such a distinct identity.

I wanted every cover to be as distinct as possible. One of the best resources were digital collections of various museums – the most used probably being the Met. Sometimes that meant a lot of retouching, colour correcting old varnish and many other tricks.

I was often surprised at how great and expressive some paintings were. I was trying to avoid looking generic, so often times I did change the framing, as in the two Romeo & Juliet covers above. But with the Jane Eyre cover below, this 1895 William Merrit Chase painting just leapt up at me in its display of raw vulnerability – all without showing a face.

After I posted the first few covers on my Instagram, I asked my friends to suggest more classics that were in need of a new cover. Jane Eyre and The Picture Of Dorian Grey were among those suggested.

I guess sometimes being ‘just legible’ is legible enough. I love the disjointed, confusing, raw and violent nature of this cover as I feel it reflects the most interesting aspects of Faust quite well.

I tend to be very restrained when it comes to colour and I am trying my best to change that. So with Titus Andronicus’ infamously brutal story, I decided to go all-in and I love the deep, rich red.