As some further research for some more illustration ideas for my project, I have been looking at novel covers from various books from a select few genres, such as mystery and horror. During my search I found these three notable cover designs which have assisted in giving me a few new ideas for what sort of art direction I could take for some/all of my pages.
The first book I uncovered is called “X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz with Kekla Magoon”, a novel about a man who realises that the freedom he created from his failures is nothing more than an illusion and that he must stop running from the past. While not entirely a horror or conspiracy novel from what I could gather from the summery, it does seem to contain some possible elements of mystery, although I am more interested in the style of the cover itself.
I really enjoy the design of this cover as the bright red really makes the design look like a big eye catcher around other books. I also like how the title of the book itself, “X”, is actually part of the the cover design itself, rather than being used as type like the authors’ names. The use of the running man could also serve as a good design choice for a conspiracy book as it can represent being on the run from evil groups (illuminati etc.). Overall, I think that there are a few things which I could take from this design into my own, namely the use of typeface and eye-catching colour.
The next novel I came across was called “The Sisters Brothers by Patrick de Witt”, a story about a pair of assassin sisters who are sent off to kill a man in the middle of the western desert. Despite not being much in the genre types I was searching for, the cover (like the previous) still caught my eye in terms of design.
The reason why I chose to look at this cover is because it looks almost like it could be for a conspiracy novel, with the dark, shadowy figure looking almost as if they were from a secret society or governmental organisation watching the reader through page. The overall design style also is very similar to my own simplistic and shape based style. Another good point to add is that I noticed from this design that there not too many solid colours, (unlike my own style) there are print-like textures added to the moon/sun and background. This makes the design appear a lot less flat and plain. The use of texture also adds a little bit of improvement to the illusion of a skull within the moon (with the two figures creating the eyes, nose and lower part of the cheek bones). These two points could be something I must consider if I want to both create a successful final piece as well as if want to improve my own design style for future projects.
The final design style comes in the form of a set of books which were designed by artist Nikola Klímová, who created uniquely-styled covers for classical horror stories such as “Dracula” and “Frankenstein’s Monster”.
The reason why I chose this set of covers is simply due to how amazing the style is within these designs, and how simple yet effective the presentations of them are. The designs themselves are notably made using various printing methods. I love how the rough and almost nightmarish depictions of the monsters’ hand and the split/fractured silhouette of Jekyll and Hyde. The use of colour for the prints are also very unique in that she used orange in Frankenstein and a vibrant pink and blue in Dracula. While I am unsure about the use of colours of Dracula, the unnatural pink flesh combined with the unsettling blue which runs across the hand almost as if bloody veins does give a menacing tone. I may use a style similar or even combined along another style for a possible page or two within my final piece work.