As my second formal negotiated project this year, I chose to design a book jacket for Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I hadn't read it for about five years and had forgotten a lot of the story - I think I loved it even more this time around! I just about finished in my imposed two week deadline.
For those who don't know of the book, it revolves around a teenage boy with behavioural symptoms implied to be somewhere on the Autistic Spectrum. He finds his neighbour's dog brutally murdered one night and decides to write a story as he attempts to discover the identity of the killer. During his investigation, he uncovers a pack of lies that shatter his world and lead him on an even greater journey.
I chose the book because of the unique perspective the protagonist gives the narrative; I wanted to try and visualise his perception of the world. It was a very difficult task to begin with because there are so many quirks within his personality and the written account of his journey is pretty chaotic in itself! In the end I settled on a design-orientated concept - dividing the cover into two halves. The front is very much how I'd imagine Christopher (the protagonist) would like a cover to look: the composition is made up of a rigid grid structure and solely made up of literal imagery of everyday routine in various tints and shades of red. The pieces of this lifestyle begin to unravel at the top form a trail (similar to a murder investigation), which in turn lead us to London, depicted as a foreign, almost alien environment. The idea was for this to be a more uncomfortable setup, using more metaphorical, abstract imagery that Christopher doesn't understand, and furthermore in yellow and brown - colours he states throughout that he hates. It's a distressing and unfamiliar journey from the structure he relies on, but is forced to make within the story.
Anyhow, enough about the concept; I felt I'd probably be best off explaining it in case. This is it (minus the internal flaps).
I'd love to mock it up on a hardcover copy, but I'm going to have to hold back for now until I can sort out some decent printing. The precise colours are kind of lost on the regular uni printers unfortunately, so it's best seen online for the moment. Next up, trying my hand at a business/finance related editorial, eep!