The Standard: A Senior Narrative Book Jacket by Estelle De Zan (2017)
Click to read Artist Statement
Last semester, I wrote a short story in English class by the name of The Standard. Set in a dystopian future, it is a literary critique of the norm that has become standardized testing. In an effort to encourage higher performance rates, an organization named “The Board” was created as a breeding ground for productive members of society. With all forms of creative expression banned as distractions, students are forced to wear bland colors and follow a strict ritual. His first day in the system, Lucas navigates his way around the strange world, trying to grasp why everybody appears to be unquestioning and obedient. Readying himself to accept his destined fate as a drone, he meets a girl named Annie who proposes another option.
In Design, we then decided to create a book jacket set to illustrate this story. Working on Adobe Illustrator and InDesign, I then played with layering and the employment of different tools to create a clean and legible format. Outlining a boy holding a timecard and a girl standing before him in a barren hallway, I feel as if my book jacket accurately gave perspective readers a glimpse into the novel inside. Struggles I found myself debating as a result of this project was choosing an appropriate color palette and hinting at the story without giving it away. Although I am satisfied with the final outcome, I would’ve gone for a more minimalistic design and put more effort into choosing a fitting font had I been given the chance to do it again.