Penguin Cover – Animal Farm

After researching into existing book cover designs, I began to brainstorms some idea’s of possible design outcomes. From my research it was clear to me that I wanted to use a black, white and red colour scheme. This is because I think this strong and bold colour scheme has been successful in previous Animal Farm covers. These colours communicate the political satire genre well and would stand out well on a book shelf.


Most existing Animal Farm cover designs all include pigs, so I deliberately didn’t want to add any reference to pigs. Although, reflecting on the quote ‘four legs goods, two legs bad’ I thought that by just showing the pigs legs isn’t too explicit what animal it is. I have drawn the pig legs and then digitalised them and used a colour half tone effect. This creates a more graphic image to go with the style of the cover.

Pig Image Developments

The typeface for my design had to have a strong and contemporary feel to it. So I have considered a range of different possible typefaces that could be used for the titles and the body copy. I decided to choose Balboa which I have downloaded from typekit. The reason for choosing this font is the range of the different weights available, which meant this  would help the hierarchy of the piece and could also use it for the body copy. The only problem with this type face is that their is no italic, which means I am unable to use this weight for the quotations.

Type Experiments

I have experimented with a range of different layout designs all with variations. I originally wanted to have the quote “All animals are equal. But some are more equal than others.” on the front cover as I thought this described animal farm well. Although, when reading through the specifications, Penguin wanted that quote on the back. Therefore, I didn’t want to repeat this then on the front, so I wanted to make sure this was a prominent feature on the back cover. By exploring the different typeface weights picks out important words in the quote to help emphasise certain words. I was stuck whether to chose the designs with just type or whether to include image in the cover as well. But from asking other people’s opinion I have chosen the design with the pigs legs and the quote, “four legs good, two legs bad.” This is because it provides more context to the book and the image is also visually strong.

Animal Farm Variations

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The sans serif typeface Balboa is a modern font which creates a contemporary book design cover. It is available in a range of different weights which helps with the hierarchy of the piece. The bold colour scheme represents the political satire genre, suggesting the context of the novel. And the colour half tone effect on the pig’s legs creates a graphically strong image to go with the style of the design. It also is a subtle representation of the symbolism within the story and anchors the quote “four legs good, two legs bad.”


Book Cover Research

Book Cover Ideas.jpg

A2SWHK / Beckett

A2SWHK.jpgI love the style of A2SWHK as I think the use of typography and colour is contemporary and striking. These are qualities that I would like to include in my book cover design. There is a clear system which helps with the legibility and communication of text. The layout has been carefully considered to create consistency throughout the separate designs and has a strong use of negative space. The bright colour and scale of the text shows clear hierarchy and makes the title as the focal point.

Rodrigo Corall

Rodrigo Corral

The book cover design for A Million Little Pieces by James Frey is design by Rodrigo Corall. The image is very strong and is clearly the focal point. The hundreds and thousands stuck to the hand anchors the book title ‘A Million Little Pieces’. The relationship between the image and text helps to draw your eye through the piece up to the title which assists with the hierarchy of the design. I think the simplicity of the design makes the piece more striking.


Greg Heinimann

Racism Book Cover.jpgThe design by Greg Heinimann for Reni Eddo-Lodge’ book about race is very powerful. The black and white colour scheme is very striking and communicates the content of the book well. The way that the text ‘to white people’ looks like it is etched into the paper as if the text has disappeared. This has been done to anchor the words but also then helps the title read ‘why I’m no longer talking about race’. This suggests more of the books content and is a very bold statement which would help to catch the audiences attention on a book shelf. I could use a technique like this with the quotation “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others” to reinforce the subject matter.

March Analysis.jpg

Animal Farm

For the Penguin Book Project we have to re-design the cover of two book covers. The options are Animal Farm by George Orwell and Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman. I have decided to re-design the cover for Animal Farm by George Orwell. I have previously read Animal Farm when I was in school so already know about the content of the book and enjoyed it. To re-cap on the adult fiction book I have watched the Animal Farm Animated Movie to familiar myself with the story.

The first Animal Farm novel was published in 1945 by George Orwell. The adult fiction book reflects on the Russian Revolution using Animals as a symbol of society. The animals represents the Soviet Union during the Communist rule, this is communicated by the way Orwell creates an Animal revolution that develop their own government. By using the animals as symbolism suggests the hierarchy in the Manor Farm, this is something which I think is important and could be communicated on the book cover.

The winning design will need to:
> have an imaginative concept and original interpretation of the brief
> be competently executed with strong use of typography
> appeal to a contemporary readership
> show a good understanding of the marketplace
> have a point of difference from the many other book covers it is
competing against.

Animal Farm Existing Covers.jpg

Looking at some existing Animal Farm covers that I have gathered from Pinterest there are clear visual similarities between the majority of designs. Some of these similarities are both successful and unsuccessful. It is prominent in all but one of the designs which I have gathered to include a pig as a visual metaphor. This is very explicit as the most powerful animals in the novel are pigs. I would like to deliberately avoid using pigs to see how this would differ to competitive book cover designs. Although, I could still experiment with using some visuals metaphors but I need to consider what I will be able to execute to my best ability in the time frame. I think that the red colour scheme is visually very powerful as it communicates the political satire genre and has connotations with war, strength and power. These are all elements which are associated with a revolution. I think that by focusing on colour and typography is a good way that I will be able to the communicate the content of the book in a modern and contemporary way.  Throughout the book there are some very powerful lines which I think communicate the book content well.

“Join the animal revolution.”

“Four legs good, two legs bad.”

“All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

“All men are enemies. All animals are comrades”


What I learnt from Rajasthan

The Rajasthan trip has been a once in a life time experience trip, my expectations were completely different to the reality. The contrast in Jaipur and Udaipur showed me how diverse India is as a country which has given me the desire to experience other places within India. It was amazing to see the local people in Rajasthan’s outlook on life, with so little they make so much out of it. I think that this is one of the main things that I will take away from the trip. That with little materials and resources they are able to handcraft such detailed and amazing outcomes. This stood out for me in the Elephant Dung workshop, to hear his story of how he was born into nothing and managed to make something out of himself by moving across India and creating paper out of Elephant Dung. This shows the determination and an innovative approach that he had on life. By seeing how something is made and the process and skill set needed, provides a much greater appreciation for the design/object being made. This was apparent in not just the Elephant Dung Paper workshop but also all the other creative workshops that we attended. This is why documenting the process of making is so important within our work because an audience invests in the journey and expertise not just the design. By using Augmented Reality is another way that this can be done, you can present the audience with the final outcome but if they scan it, they can see the process of the journey.

Throughout this field project I feel like I have learnt so much as a creative. I have purposely explored other design techniques by expanding outside my subject area as I thought that this is a good way to develop myself as a creative person. I have explored wood carving, 3D making, photography, video editing, augmented reality, layout design, book binding, block printing, tie dye, ceramics, paper making, miniature painting, etc. Which has brought me out of my comfort zone but enjoyed every new skill which I have learnt. By having a wider skill set allows greater idea’s for further projects which I am very excited about. This project has taught me that as a Graphic Communicator it is essential to understand the subject of the brief, as you cannot fulfil it without a true understanding. I had a vision for my artist book when I was out there, but when getting to Rajasthan this changed as my expectations were different to what I had planned prior to the trip. This then led me to take a different approach on the subject area, by doing this I think that it created a more exciting and interactive piece of work. I found some senses easier to visualise than others, but by grouping the images together helped to communicate the senses further. By travelling with a range of different creatives, not only gave me the chance to see the creative industry in a new way but also met so many new friends. From the tour guide, to the tutors and students that I travelled with, these have all made it such an enjoyable trip.

Final Pieces

Spice Box

I have gathered objects on my travels around Rajasthan to represent my five senses that I experienced throughout the trip. The woodblock of the letter ‘I’ represents identity, being the first letter of my name. And the woodblock shows links between the craftsmanship in India and the wood-carved spice box that I made before my travels. The incense/josticks have been used to create an aroma, as the smells that I came across in India were very strong and diverse. Some that stood out to me were the calm smoky smell of incense, the strong polluted dusty air and the pungent smell of waste. These contrasting smells show the diversity of India as a country and it’s culture. The bell is an interactive object to suggest the sounds of India. There was never a quiet time; the loud noise of traffic and music constantly made you feel so alive. To communicate touch I decided to focus on the craftsmanship which is very visible in their culture. To understand their skills and feel their materials which they use creates so much more appreciation for the objects that they make. The materials everywhere were so bright and textured which added to the vibrance of Rajasthan. To represent sight I have collected a mirror, which creates the idea of me reflecting on my travels through Rajasthan. It also suggests the reflection of the water in Udaipur the Lake City and the detailed doors/windows which are visible everywhere around Rajasthan. And finally I bought some turmeric to communicate the tastes in Rajasthan. The spices were so strong in all of the food which made every meal taste different. The spices which they use are so diverse as they don’t just use them for cooking with, they use them for dying and pigments etc.

Final Spice Box Images

Gathered Material Artist Book

To go in the book which I made with different style pockets, I gathered a range of different materials gathered on my journey. These were then all placed inside the pockets to create a more interactive artist book. By the audience being able to take the materials out and read/touch them, creates a feeling of a more personal book. Although as I was focusing more the photographs I didn’t gather as many items as I would have liked. I would have liked to gather some materials which represent the Senses of Rajasthan rather than just collected objects. This is because I do not think business cards communicate the theme of my project very well. If I were to do this again and had more time after the trip I would have made the book after I had gathered the materials. This is so I would have a better idea on how big to make the book and pockets as some of the materials don’t fit very well or I’ve had to cut them down.

Ephemra Artist Book

Photo Book & Augmented Reality

For the Photo Book and Augmented Reality I have concentrated on capturing images, videos and sounds to bring the book to life. The layout of the photo book I have focused on grouping the images on each spread with a certain sense. I felt that by doing this helps to communicate to the audience more on the sense which has been visualised. Although some of the images could be interpreted as more than one sense, but I think that this is what makes the effect off senses so powerful. The images have all been enhanced and cropped to create more striking images but none have been manipulated as I wanted to communicate a true sense of reality. The experimental layout gives a good sense of pace throughout photo book and the use of negative space helps to focus more on the images. I tried experimenting with type, although I think that the images are strong enough on their own, and I think that the use of Augmented Reality brings the photo’s to life. By using these video’s creates a more interactive book to help the audience feel like they are experiencing Rajasthan as well. I have used sounds which I have recorded in Rajasthan and also some Royalty Free Sound Downloads offline. The sound helps to bring the video together and helps to communicate the senses more. If I had more time I would have gotten the photo book professionally printed and bounded it myself. I think that this would have made the images crisper and would have also looked more professional.


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Front Cover Rajasthan Photobook

Second Page Spread Taste

Third Page Spread Taste

Fourth Page Spread Touch

Fifth Page Spread Touch

Sixth Page Spread Smell

Seventh Page Spread Smell

Eighth Page Spread Sight

Ninth Page Spread Sight

Tenth Page Spread Sight

Eleventh Page Spread Sound

Twelfth Page Spread Sound

Senses of Rajasthan

My expectations of India was very different to what I experienced when I was there. By looking at images of Rajasthan prior to going on the trip, I had a vision in my head of how the food and colours would be. Although, it was very different which made it difficult for me to complete my artists book exploring into food and spices. This showed me that in Graphic Communication it is very important to understand the client and the brief. If you do not fully understand the brief and have clear knowledge into the subject area the work may not fulfil the brief and the client may not be happy with the work. I was imagining food markets full of spices and exotic foods, but in Jaipur this wasn’t something which was very apparent. Therefore, after the first week of my travels I decided to change my theme slightly as I didn’t think that just exploring the food and spices showed enough of my journey in Rajasthan. To keep the spice box that I made relevant I decided to change my theme to ‘Senses of Rajasthan’. This then allowed me to communicate my experience of Rajasthan through the five senses. Not only did this give me more scope to explore, but it also gave me the opportunity to show the amazing culture and visually communicate this.

Photobook Research

Photobook research.jpg

To document the variety of food that I will experience on the trip I want to capture my experiences through photographs. This will provide a story behind the spice box and ephemera collected so the audience can feel part of the experience. Above I have gathered a few images of existing photobooks which communicates some kind of journey. This shows how the layout and composition is so important as it has an effect on how the journey is communicated to the audience. I want to explore a range of different layouts to keep a good level of pace throughout the photobook. I have written a list of photo’s which I would like to capture whilst on the trip, as a guide of what I visually want to focus on.

  • sacks of spices
  • close up of someone’s hand with street food
  • henna on hand with food showing the culture
  • close up of bubbling hot food
  • cooking class
  • take photo of every meal
  • close up of food with the scenery in the background showing different locations

Within all of these photo’s I am hoping to capture a strong vibrant colour palette and focus on traditional Indian dishes. I also aim to visualise the different senses that is effected by the food. I could experiment with augmented reality to help communicate these senses by adding sound. This could create a more interactive and engaging photos. Below I have planned out some idea’s of layouts which I could explore in the photobook. These layouts could change depending on the images I capture, but by having a rough template can help when designing the photobook. I also want experiment combining image with type, this could help provide greater context to the audience which will create stronger communication to the audience.

editorial layout plan
Pink = Image, Black = Type, White = Negative Space