Penguin – Existing Book Covers

Above is a general consensus of the type of covers I saw online. I noticed a lot of reds and yellow firstly. I was confused with the wide amount of yellow used, if using colour theory yellow relates to enthusiasm, positivity, relaxation and opportunity. Things I would not say are heavily explored in the book. However red I felt made a lot more sense, standing for passion, urgency and relates to the Japanese setting from which the story originates from. I want to stay away from both these colour scheme as it seems to be a little over done. Instead I would explore different colours that I felt are better suited to the story and messages within. Another thing I don’t necessary want to include is the use of trees and woodlands, it does relate to the story well. It references the walks through the woods where stories were told and its quite nice. However it is included in almost all of the adaptations of covers I’ve seen and I really want to explore something different in hopes of standing out. Something I enjoy about Arellano’s cover art is the repetition of the wood circles. I take it as referencing the repetitive nature of his writing for instance the use of jazz music, mental health and nostalgic references constantly throughout. I really enjoy that subtle reference, its something I would like to explore as well.

I find the most recent cover of Norwegian Wood the most thought out however. The reversed flag for the setting of the book links back to the strong Japanese history represented in the writing. Along side the three pairs of legs which almost look like trees, this double reference I think is really clever. The legs also are spaced out perhaps referring to this disconnect from each character in the book had and how lonely they felt. Because of this its probably my favourite cover I’ve seen just purely for creating such depth in this simplistic yet stand out imagery.

I’m glad I did this research because it gave me a sense of what is already out there and what I’d like to do differently. From this I’ll move on to creating some visual metaphors for the novel and start thinking about how I can use them in an interesting layout.


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