Type + Image: Book Jackets

In this day of high speed internet and instant information, do we still take time to appreciate the classics. Is information like classic literature, art, poetry still pertinent and vital? How would you encourage a 17 year old to put down the phone and pick up a book? Perhaps that book just needs to be presented in a new and interesting way?

Your problem for this assignment is to re-package a familiar piece of literature in a way that is appealing to younger readers (16-29). Your task is two-fold. First, you must redesign the book cover. It should stand out amongst the overcrowded shelves, AND it should represent the story in an honest way.

The most successful book covers are those that give a hint of the story inside, without revealing all the details.

  • Design the front, back, spine, and flaps of the book.
  • The book cover must include, the title and author. The Penguin logo must be on the spine and back. Download it here.
  • Give your book a barcode by visiting this site, or download this vector file.
  • Make your book as much as possible like a “real” book. Add an ISBN number, reviews, price, and other details.
  • There are no color or typographic limitations on this assignment.


  • Increase your ability as a planner and form giver
  • Develop an awareness of the relationship between design and meaning
  • Increase and improve the quality idea generation (quality & quantity)
  • Understand and identify a “target” audience
  • Increase conceptual skills through research


You will be required to maintain thorough documentation of your process throughout this and all assignments in this class. Keep a collection of everything pertaining to this project (project sheet, research, sketches, thumbnails, copies, etc.) and bring it to each class meeting. This collection will be turned in at the completion of this assignment and will be part of your final grade.


  • One book cover mounted on 15″ x 20″ black mat board (shrink to fit)
  • One book cover attached to an actual book
  • One process notebook


  • Thr Sept 21 – Introduce Project/ Research / Begin thumbnails sketches
  • Tue Sept 26 – 3 full-color (8.5”x11”) computer comps due for book cover
  • Thr Sept 28 – revisions due for book covers / 1 full-color comp (cover, back cover, spine, flaps)
  • Tue Oct 03 – Revisions of book cover due
  • Thr Oct 05 – Finished book cover due Work day
  • Tue Oct 10 – Finished book cover due

Book and book cover design resources:



Moby Dick
Herman Melville

The Scarlet Letter
Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Robert Louis Stevenson

George Orwell

The Catcher in the Rye
J.D. Salinger

Treasure Island
Robert Louis Stevenson

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Washington Irving

Little Women
Louisa May Alcott

Of Mice And Men
John Steinbeck

Mary Shelley

Bram Stoker

Animal Farm
George Orwell

Fahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury

Invisible Man
Ralph Ellison

Elie Wiesel

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