Re-Covered Books Contest: ‘The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle’ by Haruki Murakami

Re-Covered Books Contest: 'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle' by Haruki Murakami

'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle' by Haruki Murakami, Cover Design by John Gall

I’m pretty sure some of our readers might be crazy. I haven’t done a Re-Covered Books contests in a little while, at least not since our failed attempt at trying to re-cover The Hobbit (we only received about 6 entries). This time around I decided to take a vote and let you the readers choose which book we re-covered, and and of the four choices you decided to take on Haruki Murikami’s, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

The novel is about a low-key unemployed man, Toru Okada, whose cat runs away. A chain of events follow that prove that his seemingly mundane life is much more complicated than it appears.

This is not only a bold choice, this book is really weird, but it’s also had the honor of having two spectacular covers by two amazing designers: Chip Kidd and John Gall. They’ve set the bar incredibly high, so I’m expecting some really great entries. For a bit of reference check out this collection of covers from around the world. Some are good, some are meh.

'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle' by Haruki Murakami, Cover Design by Chip Kidd

For your cover I want you to take the weirdness and originality of the book and channel that into the design. I think some contemporary with a slight bit of weirdness is an interesting take, which is also so different from what both Kidd and Gall have done. No bird toys either, that’s already been done. I think the idea of contemporary psychedelia could be an interesting route to try as well, for those of you who are brave.

Princeton Architectural Press Prizes

UPDATE: I’ve partnered up with the Princeton Architectural Press to give away the pretty awesome prizes you see above. How cool is that?

RULES

• Save your images as JPGs at 800px wide, 72 DPI, RGB mode – this is super important! There are no height restrictions (within reason) but be sure to send images as separate JPGs. Feel free to play with the dimensions and have fun with what you make. Submitting a front and back cover will certainly help your chances, but is not required. You can enter up to 3 times.

The winner will receive a $100 gift card to Amazon, and perhaps some more fun goodies that I’m digging up.

• Label your files “Firstname-Lastname-Wind-Up-Bird.jpg”

• Send all entries to [email protected] with the subject “Re-Covered Books: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle“. Cut and paste what I wrote there, it’s super easy and it helps me keep track of your entry.

• All entries are due Saturday, February 23, 2013 by Midnight PST.

If there are any other questions feel free to leave them in the comments. I look forward to seeing what you come up with and be sure to tell your friends/classmates/pets to participate as well. Good luck and have fun!

Continue reading this post…

Bobby Solomon

January 28, 2013 / By

Re-Covered Books: ‘The Hobbit’ by J. R. R. Tolkien

Re-Covered Books: 'The Hobbit' by J. R. R. Tolkien

'The Hobbit' by J. R. R. Tolkien

I remember clearly the first time I read The Hobbit. I was on a snowy vacation with my best friend and his family somewhere around Lake Tahoe. In between bouts of snow fights and epic hours spent building amazing snow forts I would dive nose deep into a world of fantasy. I read the book within a week, it’s pages filling my mind with craggily old dwarves, creepy spider battles, and a massive dragon with a nearly imperceptible weakness.

The Hobbit film will soon be upon us as well, so I felt the timing was right to build off of that momentum and get another Re-Covered Books contest going. I think for this contest, with such a unique book, that the goal will be to create something that is handmade. Or at least seems handmade. Nothing too modern but nothing too old and stodgy. This should be about craft, about creating a cover that feels well loved. A cover for a book who’s tale is timeless. Failure to adhere to these general guidelines means you probably won’t win, got it?

RULES

• Save your images as JPGs at 800px wide, 72 DPI, RGB mode – this is super important! There are no height restrictions (within reason). Feel free to play with the dimensions and have fun with what you make. Submitting a front and back cover will certainly help your chances, but is not required. You can enter up to 5 times.

• Label your files “Firstname-Lastname-Hobbit.jpg”

• Send all entries to [email protected] with the subject “Re-Covered Books: The Hobbit“. Cut and paste what I wrote there, it’s super easy and it helps me keep track of your entry.

• All entries are due Saturday, December 15, 2012 by Midnight PST.

If there are any other questions feel free to leave them in the comments. I look forward to seeing what you come up with and be sure to tell your friends/classmates/pets to participate as well. Good luck and have fun!

Bobby Solomon

November 14, 2012 / By

Adam Maida wins the ‘Fahrenheit 451′ Re-Covered Books contest

Adam Maida wins the 'Fahrenheit 451' Re-Covered Books contest

After a long delay I’ve finally narrowed down the winning entry for the Fahrenheit 451 Re-Covered Books contest. This was a great book to try to re-cover because of it’s strong themes and iconic imagery, though I was sad to see a lack of mechanical hounds. That said there were many fine entries but only one could win and that honor goes to designer Adam Maida.

I liked Adam’s cover for a few reasons — the style, the color palette, and the detail. I’m not usually one to pick the more retro, old feeling cover but I think it fits with the idea of knowledge and the age of knowledge. It also reminds me of the books that Montag has hidden away in the ventilator. I think the stacked books becoming an arm was a smart choice and I like that it’s not overly literal. I feel like the color palette Adam chose was spot on. The red is slightly dulled, giving it that aged feel, and that shock of yellow in the flame on the cover and on Bradbury’s name is just what it needed. The black on the cover also gives the book a bit of grounding, keeping the design firmly locked in place.

I think it’s also great that Adam did the glossary, especially because there are only 3 chapters to the book. I think the face in the flames could be better but I like the concept, which touches upon the older woman who burns herself alive. Overall I think my only complaint might be the font that the 451 is in on the cover which doesn’t really fit with the hand-drawn type of the Fahrenheit. Overall though it feels like Adam really considered a lot of details and executed them nearly perfectly.

I’ll try to think up another Re-Covered Books contest in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled.

Bobby Solomon

October 15, 2012 / By

Re-Covered Books: ‘Fahrenheit 451′ by Ray Bradbury

Re-Covered Books: 'Fahrenheit 451' by Ray Bradbury

Re-Covered Books: 'Fahrenheit 451' by Ray Bradbury

Published in 1953, Ray Bradbury’s seminal novel Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel where owning books is illegal and houses containing them are burned by firemen. Ray Bradbury has said that ” the novel is not about censorship, but a story about how television destroys interest in reading literature, which leads to a perception of knowledge as being composed of factoids, partial information devoid of context.” Kind of sounds like our modern day world, taking in factoids (tweets), though I believe if anything we read more.

Sadly, Bradbury passed away a few months ago, so I thought doing a Re-Covered contest in his honor would be nice. You mission is to redesign the classic cover to Fahrenheit 451, bringing to life a contemporary vision of the book and it’s ideas. I suggest paying close to attention to not only your imagery, but to your typography as well. Every bit counts!

The winner will get $100 to Amazon as well as some posters and goodies that I’ve been holding on to.

RULES

• Save your images as JPGs at 800px wide at 72 DPI/RGB mode – this is super important! There are no height restrictions (within reason). Feel free to play with the dimensions and have fun with what you make. Submitting a front and back cover will certainly help your chances, but is not required.

• Label your files “Firstname-Lastname-Fahrenheit-451.jpg”

• Send all entries to [email protected] with the subject “Re-Covered Books: Fahrenheit 451“. Cut and paste what I wrote there, it’s super easy and it helps me keep track of your entry.

• All entries are due Saturday, September 22, 2012 by Midnight PST.

If there are any other questions feel free to leave them in the comments. I look forward to seeing what you come up with and be sure to tell your friends/classmates/pets to participate as well. Good luck and have fun!

Continue reading this post…

Bobby Solomon

August 27, 2012 / By

Congrats to Ben Wallis, winner of the Harry Potter Re-Covered Books contest

Ben Wallis' cover for Harry Potter

With the Harry Potter Re-Covered Books contest I asked entrants to “create a cover that defines what Harry Potter is.” We all have an idea of what the character and his friends are like, from either reading the books or watching the films or a mixture of both. Harry is now a pop icon who resides alongside Sherlock Holmes and James Bond. So how do you take that core idea of what a character is and remake it? Well, I think I found the answer. With the help of some friends and loved ones I decided on the cover created by Ben Wallis. There were so many amazing entries this time around, I seriously had to narrow my list of 8 great entries down to one. Here’s why I think Ben’s is the best.

First their’s the illustration style. Ben’s interpretation of Harry is spot-on, with a giant head of messy hair. There’s also something about the illustrations that feel British to me. Not sure if people will agree with me on that, but the style is slightly sketchy and is similar to folks like Luke Pearson and Lizzy Stewart. There’s also the way he drew the Hogwart House mascots, which are silly and rather fun, and the giant pile of magical detritus on the back is a perfect touch.

The layout is also really interseting as it seems that Ben has thought this out to be a series of books, rather than just a one off. This was something I hadn’t considered whe I started the contest, but I’m glad he did. I’d love to see how the magical pile changes and shifts as the series goes on. Perhaps the last book would simply have the horcruxes? Perhaps it’s a box under a bench? There’s a ton of potential there.

Most of all, I think if you handed this to a child their eyes would light up. I remember reading Dr. Dredd’s Wagon of Wonders, a tale from the Coven Trees series that I loved as a kid. But what really sold me was the illustration on the cover of the insidious ringmaster. Every time I read the book I’d look at him and it sealed the deal that this was a real place, a real universe. Ben’s cover has that same feeling to me.

A huge cognrats to Ben for such a wonderful job. I’ll be sure to do a round-up of the runners-up for tomorrow, so be sure to check that out as well.

Bobby Solomon

May 2, 2012 / By

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