I enjoyed working on this exercise, I found it interesting and stimulating. I tried to approach it methodically, working through all the pointers that had been given in the course notes but I found my mind jumped all over the place, particularly trying to come up with ideas at a very early stage.

Stages :
after working through the pointers one time I realised I had to narrow down the range by making a decision which 3 books I was going to work on. I then realised I needed to do another list of key words for each individual book.

Primary research :
Books by H.G.Wells, leading to a selection of “The Time Machine”, “The Invisible Man” and “War of the Worlds”.
Plot synopsis of each, date written.
Current book cover styles, particularly “Classic” ranges.
Style of dress in 1890’s

Investigating “contemporary” themes I looked at current music, magazines.

Secondary research :
In my investigations into the books I came across the actual books with a cover designed by Katie Gibb. I felt uncomfortable about this initially as it seemed that she had worked to the brief which I was doing and it felt like cheating. However, then I realised that it was a good example of what someone else had chosen to do with a very similar brief but it was only one interpretation. I at this stage decided to use the same layout of the print as it had been used by Penguin for my ideas. This was for 2 reasons, firstly if I was working for a publisher they would probably already have a “house style” that they would be wanting to use and thus it simplified my decision making. Secondly, not knowing much about typefaces yet, it would leave me free to concentrate on the images.

I also found various images on the Bridgeman website of Sci Fi covers that have been used in the past for H.G.Wells and other books.

Most obvious / most radical solution:
I drew out some obvious sketches for each: people running away from a 3 legged monster for “War of the Worlds”, a boxlike cabinet in an old fashioned drawing room (which was fading away compared to the box) , a man wearing a hat, coat, muffler and bandages.
Even as I drew them I knew I wouldn’t use them.
The radical solutions were my preferred options as shown in my folder;

War of the worlds : 3 tripod legs against a yellow background, a vivid yellow to signify danger but not too bilious to look unappealing. A blast of black smoke is also coming down.

The Time Machine : the machine is represented by an old fashioned looking cabinet appearing in one corner. In the other corner is the back view of a slightly strange looking head looking over some ferns. The predominant colour is a vivid green representing the lush world the traveller finds himself in.

The Invisible Man : all that is visible are some old fashioned dark glasses with a slightly sinister appearance, set against a strong pinky red background. This is to contrast with the other covers and look mysterious and possibly dangerous. It was only later after finishing this I remembered the cover of “Lolita” by Nabakov with a pair of sunglasses on it and realised I must have unconsciously been influenced by this.


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