Reading In The Dark, Penguin Vintage Deane.
STUDIO / DESIGNER
Design Challenge and Design Ideas
I was asked to create a cover for this novel by Seamus Deane that reflected “how politics and violence intrudes and destroys ordinary life, and at the same time how ordinary life continues in the face of extreme deprivation/injustice/upheaval. It’s also about how otherworldly things – ghosts, devils, fairies, folklore etc – blend with everyday more prosaic life, particularly for children.” The designer also asked to see imagery relating to fire, and for me to work in this linocut style. I was limited to the use of two colours, green and orange, these also being used in the six other titles being released by Penguin Random House.
How the brief was fulfilled
We decided I should use the overhead view of a heavily stylised landscape of fields and buildings, allowing me great freedom to use bold marks and a non-realist approach to how the fields looked – some fully on fire, some full of crosses, some bursting with flowers. I wanted the overall effect to be bold and rugged, but with the small figures and burning car hinting at a story. The orange was used selectively to pick out roofs, flames, and lettering.
The book’s title is seamlessly integrated into a beautifully simple two-colour block print that activates every inch of the cover and gives it a striking and original shelf presence"