I’ve read a wide variety of science fiction and fantasy novels over many years, so thought I’d follow the creative footsteps of the many designers and illustrators who have created their own cover designs for favourite and popular books. From all that I’ve read there are a few that stood out as both great works of fiction, and also as stories offering different visual styles to design with. I decided to call this collection the ‘Modern Masterwork’ series, which would therefore define these as special edition covers.
Above is the fantastic Something Wicked This Way Comes from Ray Bradbury. I’m yet to encounter another writer who can paint a picture and convey a mood quite like Bradbury can – he is a true master of elegant writing that captures the spirit of his characters and the times they live in. The story is based in Green Town, which set the colour tone for my design, and also features some quirky hand lettering to match the dark carnival theme.
The central icon on the cover above for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy came to me as part of another idea, but quickly transitioned to this cover design for the intergalactic Douglas Adams novel. I was always wanting this to be a quite basic and very graphically sharp design, which to me fits the written style of the series, particularly in comparison to the other two chosen books. I’m amazed at just how many phrases and concepts from Hitchhiker’s have made it into popular culture – a true phenomenon!
William Gibson is the most acclaimed writer of what is known as the cyberpunk genre. Gibson is credited as devising the term ‘cyberspace’ in a story published in 1982 – a description that soon became commonly used when referring to the internet. The award winning Neuromancer is the first novel in his Sprawl trilogy, a landmark series that has had a heavy influence on arts, media and technology, since release. This novel was a sensory explosion when I first read it, as the concepts involved were mind bending in their depth and complexity. Gibson had expertly created a futuristic vision of a down and dirty technological corporatized state, populated with some seriously cool and unique characters.
I’ve chosen to create an uncluttered design that shows a hint of the stylistic look of the 80’s, with significant space and deliberate prominence given to the author and title. The pattern hints at neural networks and the hacker process within the mind.