Penguin – Initial outcome

This is my my final outcome for the first stage of the penguin book cover competition. I used imagery of a knife on the front cover because this would be the weapon that was used to kill Herbert Clutter, the father of the clutter on that night. I have also used imagery of a dead yellow bird because in Perry’s dreams in the book, the yellow bird to him represents freedom, however also the Clutter family also represented freedom because of how they represented the typical American family, and a big value of being American is freedom. So it could also be said that the family represented freedom also. Therefor I took the yellow bird and used it as a way to represent the clutter family on the front cover. I wanted to make the overall design of the book quite modern, because previous covers of In cold blood seem quite outdated. I also wanted to create something very different from what has been used before. I chose a dark background because I wanted the imagery on the cover to standout, and also to create a contrast between the yellow of the bird and the background.

In the group presentation today we all placed our book covers on the board, then we all swapped feedback sheets and gave another person feedback on their work. Amber gave me feedback on my book cover, overall her feedback was really positive, she said:

  • Essence of the story is captured well through the symbolic use of the bird. Dead bird – dead freedom.
  • Design is mature and suitable for an adult audience.
  • Hierarchy works well – however maybe the title should be above the author?
  • Mix of serif and sans serif works well, as well as the differentiation between the quote and ‘Sunday express’.
  • Maybe there could be some differentiation between the body text.
  • Image of the bird is slightly pixilated.

Overall I am very happy with the design of my cover especially given the time constraints that we were given, and I feel that from the feedback that I was given I could easily improve my cover before the penguin deadline to be even better



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