Whole Hog: A Senior Narrative Book Jacket by Lara Darling (2017)
Click to read Artist Statement
This book jacket was a fascinating assignment because I challenged myself to try an uncharacteristic minimalistic style, and as an avid reader it was interesting to focus on the visual aspect of books. The story itself was outside of my comfort zone as it was much more absurd, graphic, and without subtlety than I usually write. I wanted to reflect this in my book jacket so I used contrast of black, white, and red which is very bold and unsubtle. I chose very simple iconographic shapes to represent the simple metaphors of the story, and challenged myself to do more with less. They intentionally draw the viewer’s eye for a more dramatic effect, as the story itself is full of drama.
One of the most surprising challenges was coming up with a design element that would tie the cover together simply, effectively, and without too much repetition. In the end I chose to use blood stains and drops to represent both the physical and psychological the violence in the book. I chose to use red for these elements to provide extra drama, contrast, and to break up the monotony of the black and white. My biggest objective when created the book cover was to not allow the boldness of the contrast between the black and white to overpower the rest of the book, and I think I succeed by allowing for some white on the inside flaps and pig silhouettes. If I were to do this project again, I would choose a different font for the paragraphs. While the title fonts are bold and flow with the style of the cover, the paragraph font could have used a different style. However, I definitely have a new appreciation for book cover design, now that I have experienced the difficulties of filling the blank page on both the inside and outside of books. While I am still a student and have much to learn when it comes to good design, I am cautiously satisfied with this particular design.