With each subsequent Re-Covered Books contest, I feel like the entries keep getting better and better. With The Wonderful Wizard of Oz contest, we had a batch of entries that felt really fresh and contemporary, which made for a tough decision on my part. After some consideration though, I decided that Paul Bartlett was the winner of the contest.
More than any other entries, I thought his cover captured the wonder of the book as well as the cultural idea we have about Wizard of Oz. When I opened his entry, I kind of gasped as I was amazed he was able to sync these images up so perfectly. It’s also important to note that the image of the cat eyes, paired with the young girls slightly opened mouth is a perfect combination. The effect is that she’s a wide-eyed young girl who’s experiencing a fantastic new world.
I’m also glad that he took the time to pay attention to the piece’s typography. A lot of the entries I received faltered because the type wasn’t considered or wasn’t quite up to snuff. Paul was really smart about making the text fit into the spaces between his images. I also like that he dropped in the serif, italic font for ‘the’ and of’, giving more space to the words that really mattered. The quote on the back from L. Frank Baum, which I can’t really read, is a nice touch, as is his signature.
Great work, Paul. I think you killed it.
Some of you asked for me to review some of the runner-up entries, so I’ll be posting about that tomorrow. There were a lot of really great entries that I think should certainly be noted.
These beautiful illustrations are taken from Canadian illustrator Jacqui Lee’s children’s book The Story of Joseph-Armand Bombardier. The book tells the story of the Canadian inventor Joseph-Armand Bombardier, a mostly self-taught inventor who is famous for pioneering the development of the snowmobile. Coming across Jacqui Lee’s book was the first time that I had heard of Bombardier and he sounds like a really fascinating character. For example, in 1922 – at the age of just fifteen – he built his first prototype snowmobile.
I also really love Jacqui Lee’s style of illustration and I particularly like the notion of a biographical book aimed at children. Her use of inks and watercolors are also really nice, which work really well with the feel of the book. Make sure to take a look at her online portfolio where you’ll find more work which is well worth checking out.
I’m a bit behind on this one, but I noticed over the weekend that one of my favorite illustrators, Tomer Hanuka, has a book of his illustrations out now called Overkill, and it looks really great. The version above is the limited edition which is being released through Upper Playground, and it comes with the print above, which I’m mildly obsessed with. What I love about Tomer’s art is his color choices and the dynamic poses in which he places his characters. The strong red/green coloring of the image sets it off and really grabs your attention.
Violeta Lópiz is an illustrator who comes from the Spanish island of Ibiza. Her beautifully textured work is filled with personality and playfulness, and her illustrations have appeared in newspapers and children’s book.
Her most recent book (pictured above) is called Les Poings sur les îles. It is a collaboration with the French author Elise Fontenaille and it is filled with Violeta’s own unique style; combining rich colors and lush and delicate textures to create some pretty amazing looking illustrations. The way in which these images are constructed really give the work an organic feel and I can imagine that it’s a style that would really appeal to children. Check out more of Violeta’s work online here.
After a slew of beautiful entries, I’ve chosen my winner for the Romeo and Juliet Re-Covered Books contest – Christopher Porter. Chris is a designer from Falmouth, Cornwall who wanted to create something contemporary:
I’ve tried to go with a direction that would appeal to younger generations, the Irvine Welsh generation, the sort of people who are more than likely to judge a book by it’s cover.
I think he’s done exactly that. I like his cover for a few reasons – typography, color palette and choice of image. As with a lot of entries, typography, or the lack there of, tends to be a major problem. Chris uses only two typefaces, both of which are appropriately used. The script used for William Shakespeare is so damn beautiful and gives his name such life, it’s a perfect application.
As for the imagery, I love this old photo he found of a dead couple. What I find most interesting is that they aren’t perfect of beautiful, they’re real people. They might not be the correct age, but I think that’s ok. I’m sure we’ve all felt that yearning for true love at many stages in our lives, and this reflects that in some ways. I also love the addition of “Love Is Toxic”, which makes me think of Britney Spears, and I’m guessing others would as well. Overall this one felt the strongest, especially because he created a whole package to show the full idea. Well done Christopher!
Check back in the new year for our next contest, and if you have any suggestions for books you’d like to see, please put them in the comments.