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Designer Creates A Gorgeous Book Cover For New Translation Of The Metamorphosis
By Jillian Wong, 17 Jan 2014
British book cover designer Jamie Keenan has created a gorgeous book cover for New York-based publishers WW Norton’s new translation of the classic Franz Kafka novel The Metamorphosis.
In an interview with Mark Sinclair of Creative Review, Keenan said WW Norton’s art director Albert Tang's requirement was the design had to be “something really cool, hip and (that) stands out among the numerous other copies out there.”
According to the designer, he decided on the title of The Metamorphosis as the cover image, and that he wanted to convey “that shiny black quality that beetles have and that weirdo, fiddly, twitchy thing that a lot of creepy crawly things have.” Keenan found a scan of an old Italian typeface, and coupled with legs from a picture of a stag beetle, came up with the design.
The design is remarkable in how Keenan has managed to manipulate and balance the letters to create the shape of a beetle’s body, with the ‘M’ forming the head, the ‘O’ forming the thorax, and the letters ‘S’, ‘I’, and ‘S’ rounding off the abdomen.
Intriguing and visually arresting, the design provides an insight into the book while cleverly referencing the insect Samsa turns into. Most importantly, it makes you want to pick it up and read it, which is what a good book cover should do.
The Metamorphosis is published by WW Norton this month and retails at US$10.95. Head over here to pick up a copy.
The old Italian typeface Keenan used for the cover
Early version of the cover with different secondary type and less prominence to Kafka’s name
[via Creative Review, images by Jamie Keenan]
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