Book Cover Research (Nineteen Eighty-Four)

u_29_824194140815_1984ukOrwell’s 1984 book is set in a dystopian 1984 (what was to originally to be named an earlier year but publishers thought it was too close to publication date to be realistic). The society developed is one of an all powerful and all knowing government that controls and monitors every action and thoughts of its citizens. (This is the origin of famous phrases like “big brother is watching you.” and the idea of Room 101) The novel follows the character and protagonist Winston Smith. He works in the Ministry of Truth which edits history. He starts to question the society he lives in then gets tricked into revealing his thoughts. At the essence of the book, it’s about control and being watched.

This cover has an eye that could be the eye of ‘Big Brother’. It is in the center slightly towards the top, it is the vocal point of the design. It seems like the eye is looking out at the viewer and could also be protecting the content like it does not want you to read the novel at all. The title and author’s name is contained within a panel that is the last thing I personally notice last, it is like it is only a formality and added on like it was just a standard design of the time this edition was published (which it was). david-pearson-19841

My personal favourite cover for the book is one of the latest editions. It is a simple yet effective concept as It takes the classic penguin paperback design with the author and title blacked out, this links in well with the story of the deletion of history and the hiding of information from the general population. But what is quite effective in the physical book is that the text is embossed onto the cover so if the light hits it in a certain way you can sort of make out the text and you can also feel that the text is actually there.


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