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Search for the Next Great Book Cover

September 20, 2008

when I was a kid, I love to hang out at bookstores and just spend the afternoon away looking at the pretty book covers. content doesn’t matter at that point of time. it was more of the effects – embossed, spot varnish – that intrigued me. can’t help but touch and feel those covers. came across this recently – Creativity partnered with Penguin Books on a talent contest, asking artists of all types to conceive a cover design for one of the publisher’s upcoming titles – “The Island at the End of the World”.

The Island at the End of the World Synopsis:
A chilling novel about the near future, where most of the world has been destroyed by catastrophic floods. As a father and his three children begin to rebuild their lives alone on an island, his youngest son Finn begins to question how they arrived there and why they alone have been spared. Finn’s search for understanding takes an unexpected turn when a strange man named Will swims ashore, and he appears to know quite a bit about this family and the circumstances that surrounded the floods. But Finn’s father is determined to keep him silent and is willing to do anything to prevent Will from disturbing his family’s idyllic life on the island. Sam Taylor’s The Island at the End of the World is a riveting post-apocalyptic tale that explores the darkness that lies within the hearts of men.

Penguin’s Graphic Classics have become veritable collectors items, with cover art reimagined by contemporary artists like Frank Miller, Tomer Hanuka, Roz Chast and Art Spiegelman. there are 25 finalists, but here are some of my faves:-


The concept of this design comes from the idea of an eclipse. It has a twofold meaning. First, it is the apocalyptic image of the Earth drowned by the flood, with only the island remaining, sprouting from the top. Second, it is the eclipse of the truth, the blotting out of reality by the pathological illusions of the antagonist.


This image represents the seclusion and despair that Finn feels as he searches for meaning in a life nearly devoid of humanity. ( * I like the specific arrangement of each word of the title, especially highlighting the words “The” and “End”.


The cover I created shows a static blast erupting from a central darkened object. The central object represents the actual island while also symbolizing a big bang- like explosion representing the purity of new beginning and the inevitable corruption of it as well. ( * I’m always drawn to dark mysterious covers. I think the choice of visual is great because nothing seems to escape the attraction force of black holes, making it apt for this title.


My cover illustration was intentionally devised to depict two different views of one singular object: the island. But the illustration is also intended to suggest some nature of the experience those who visit it must endure. Above the waterline, (1) the viewer sees a beautiful, bright, sunny day, enveloping a small but pleasant island, which is itself surrounded by a vast yet tranquil sea. But below the waterline, (2) the viewer gets to glimpse a darker, murky, more threatening environment contained within the menacing sub-structure underlying the island, suggesting a refuge that is anything but the peaceful and serene sanctuary its initial appearance seemed to imply. ( * The contrast is superb! very impactful. also conveys the idea of global warming – earth looks like it’s drowning.

which ones do you like? 😀

One Comment leave one →
  1. lafion permalink
    September 20, 2008 9:16 pm

    2nd one. Crystal pure. Neat arrangements. Clear expectations.

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