I experimented with cut paper, optical illusion, and dimensionality in this redesign of the book jacket for Aldous Huxley’s speculative dystopian science fiction novel, Brave New World. I was interested in exploring Huxley’s book because despite the fact that this novel was written nearly a century ago, its themes of malicious technological advancement, stifled individuality, and the blurred lines between truth and falsehood are ubiquitous throughout our contemporary culture. Additionally, I felt that it would be interesting to juxtapose analog design methods with a novel in the science fiction genre.
My initial thumbnails and rough mockups were too flat, indistinct, and trendy. I had wanted to focus on experimental typographic practices but without realizing it I had fallen into the typographic trend du jour. The stretched type and overlapping vectorized forms had felt like a breath of fresh air but in reality were only an unrelated and purely aesthetic choice for my thumbnail cover designs. I moved away from the stretched type concept and rather tried experimenting with dimensionality and planar typography. This route was more effective than my other trails into the thumbnail designs.
Experimentation & Discovery
After I ideated and conceived of the different overall themes to represent on our covers, I tried working with light, water, and transparency. The latter was the less successful of my two ideas, and I also realized that my warped type under water bore a astriking resemblance to the typographic details of a project I had worked on during the previous semester. Therefore, I decided to move in a different direction from both of the ideas. I also experimented with embossing metal sheet and twisting transparent paper past a light, but all of these ideas lacked the sense of depth that I had wanted to achieve with this project.
This was a revelatory phase in my process. I was feeling stuck on a flat plane with no depth to my cover, so I experimented with folded letters amd cutting white letterforms and I finally that I had established al system that could work as a dimensional and illustrative cover. I folded multiple iterations of my letterforms and rearranged and photographed them in different lighting, alternating orientations, and at changing angles. The concept felt simple yet evocative of the emotions I was working to convey through my cover design.