These new editions bring a fresh set of covers to well-known titles, wrapping them in clashing two-colour palettes and featuring graphics inspired by the contents of each title.
Jo Thomson, deputy art director at 4th Estate and William Collins, says the art department was briefed to create jackets that would look nothing like other classic book editions, but still be timeless enough to stand apart from current trends.
Drawing on her love of typography, Thomson began playing around with designs that used huge lettering and decorative fonts, paired together with graphic images or photos. The real breakthrough for the design came when she shifted the authors’ names away from the centre of the cover and off to one side – allowing the type and imagery to do the heavy lifting. The graphics have also been given a print grain filter to add some extra texture.
Each book has its own unique colour palette, with Jung Chang’s Wild Swans wrapped in mint green and neon red, and Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides enjoying a forest green and bubblegum pink.
“One of the key things that we wanted to do was open these books up to people who haven’t read them before,” Thomson told CR. “For books that are older, we wanted to give them a new lease of life with a cover that’s more vibrant and modern than previous classics have been.”
The series will launch with eight titles on May 13, and more are set to follow; harpercollins.co.uk