Please view my Portfolio here.
Below are what I call my Redesigns. Each month I take a look at the New York Times Best Seller’s List, pick one from the list, and “redesign” the cover.
(Original covers always on the left, my “redesigns” always on the right)
January 2022 (between work and the holidays, December was crazy busy)
The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity by David Graeber & David Wengrow (#12, January 23, 2022—Combined Print & E-Book Fiction)
The description on Amazon says “… a dramatically new understanding of human history, challenging our most fundamental assumptions about social evolution―from the development of agriculture and cities to the origins of the state, democracy, and inequality―and revealing new possibilities for human emancipation.” I just found the cover lacking. Are those half-suns? That doesn’t even make sense…”dawn” is the time right before the sun breaks the horizon. So for my cover I intimated dawn in the color scheme and incorporated one of the universal symbols of human—Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man.
Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty (#9, November 16, 2021—Fiction)
The moment I saw this cover, I knew I wanted to use an apple as the “a” in the word “apple” in the title. The original cover shows 4 apples. The book’s description talks about Stan and Joy Delaney and their 4 children, Amy, Logan, Troy, and Brook: “Later, when Joy goes missing, […] the police question the one person who remains: Stan. But for someone who claims to be innocent, he, like many spouses, seems to have a lot to hide. Two of the Delaney children think their father is innocent, two are not so sure – but as the two sides square off against each other in perhaps their biggest match ever, all of the Delaneys will start to reexamine their shared family history in a very new light.” So rather than 4 apples, I show 2 on one branch, 2 on another branch, and 1 apple obscured. Finally, I utilized the “Dutch Angle” to portray psychological uneasiness/tension.
The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman (#7, October 3, 2021—Advice, How-To, & Misc.)
While I haven’t read this book, I’m familiar with the premise (Acts of Service is my Love Language). But this “Long walks on the beach” cover makes me cringe. My grandparents were married for over 60 years. I don’t know if they took long walks on the beach, but they did always hold each other’s hand. That’s what I wanted to convey in my redesign, in a more modern fashion. And I drew from the “5” in the title: 5 love languages / 5 fingers, hand in hand.
The Noise by James Patterson and J.D. Barker (#4, September 5, 2021—Fiction)
The Amazon description for this book says “In the shadow of Mount Hood, sixteen-year-old Tennant is checking rabbit traps with her eight-year-old sister Sophie when the girls are suddenly overcome by a strange vibration rising out of the forest, building in intensity until it sounds like a deafening crescendo of screams…” Going off that, I decided to find a picture of Mount Hood. I drew it in Illustrator and added the tree-line in such a way as to resemble a sine wave…a visual representation of noise, if you will.
July/August 2021 (alas, work and vacation got me behind, so I combined these months)
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell (#9, August 22, 2021—Paperback Nonfiction)
I liked the original design, which picks up on the idea of one marble being different, separated…an outlier if you will. But then I thought, rather than use a marble, why not just use the typography? And so I made the tittle of the letter ” i ” (that’s what the dot is called—a tittle) the outlier. Then I reversed the colors to make it stand out more. I added the ornament in the middle, which kind of begins and ends with a “tittle,” to indicate that outliers can be positive or negative.
The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van Der Kolk (#2, June 27, 2021—Nonfiction)
When I first looked at this cover, I saw red, white, and blue…and the yellow star/asterisks and thought they looked like fireworks. The color scheme just didn’t work for me. I found this image of a distressed/depressed-looking girl and added the cut/scar marks in Photoshop to give the appearance of a girl keeping “score” of her trauma by cutting herself. Then I gave the cover a sickly green tint so there’d be no mistaking the nature of the book.
A Gambling Man by David Baldacci (#1, May 9, 2021—Fiction)
For my first Redesign, I chose this cover because I wanted to know what this red car has to do with “the gambling man.” I read the description of the book on Amazon.com which mentions it’s a “1939 Delahaye convertible” that he apparently acquires in Reno. Does he acquire it gambling? Don’t know, but this is a story about a man, not a car. The description says he also picks up an “aspiring actress” and goes on to describe how the man, Archer, hopes to apprentice with a P.I. and former FBI agent. The two “infiltrate the world of brothels, gambling dens, drug operations, and long-hidden secrets…” Again, doesn’t seem to me this is a story about a car, but about a man. I chose to focus on that for my cover and drew inspiration from playing cards—both the Ace and King.