Penguin Book Cover Project

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My starting point for this project was to do research into the book and the case the book is based upon.The victims (the Clutter family) were murdered in their home by two men (Dick and Perry). Capote focuses on the murderer’s and he seams to humanise them.  I looked at the covers to see what had actually been done before. There is a number of different covers and they have all got a number of different ways of looking at showing what the book is about. They all try to create a different feel the 1st gives a feeling of facts and truth, the 2nd is dark and dangerous and the 3rd shows isolation.

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  My starting point for this project was to do research into the book and the case the book is based upon.The victims (the Clutter family) were murdered in their home by two men (Dick and Perry). Capote focuses on the murderer’s and he seams to humanise them. I collected some of the images from the case so I was able to gain inspiration from them and images of feathers because of the yellow bird that is mentioned in the book in Perry’s dreams that show his guilt or his childishness.

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   Then looking at the images I had collected I drew up quick sketches of a few ideas. These included concepts and basic layout ideas. I was drawn to the bloody footprints and the gore. But I didn’t want it to be too graphic so keeping it minimal. I ended taking elements from a few of the ideas to make a new one. I was finding it difficult to come up with ideas as I didn’t really enjoy the book or the film but I also think that this helped as I was able to narrow down the ideas.

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   I had decided to focus on the house and one of the crime scene photos. I drew each image by hand then digitised them. I tried to use pattern and line work to keep them more in a pop art style. I had done a number of different styles of the house before deciding on the blue one as it wasn’t overly complicated.  Thinking back the black one would have given more depth to the cover. I wish I didn’t include the hand drawing as it is not the best image I have created before, I could have zoomed into the hand more when it is put into context.

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   I thought that this design was quite tacky and childlike and I did not think that it was a successful design. I am not sure whether it is because of the use of the primary colours or the poor hierarchy in the text on the back that lets it down. Or it could be way too literal. I think it is way too in your face and suggests a bright and cheery book.

   I experimented with different possible styles of type that could fit in with the design. For the design I completed initially I just used Helvetica because it fitted in with the style more, but for the final design, I used the vectors on the right. The final type has elements removed to create the type a more sporadic effect.

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  Looking back on my initial sketches I was drawn towards one that had two nooses one each for Dick and one for Perry and four feathers one each for the members of the Clutter family that were killed that night. The feathers also are from the dreams that Perry was having in the book, from the yellow bird.

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I wanted to have a feel to the design of stillness like it is a freeze frame that’s why the feathers are still floating and why I removed the colour apart from the yellow on the feathers. I was very happy with how the front and the spine turned out but I didn’t really plan the back and was not very well thought out and it is quite hard to read.

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