Exercise: Book cover design

Your brief is to design a stunning and contemporary cover for one of the 20th century’s most acclaimed authors, H.G. Wells.


Speaking the truth, I didn’t know anything about Herber Wells, excluding the fact that he is an English writer. At least I thought like that when I was reading the task. I’ve started to research his biography to fix the gaps in my knowledge of the subject. And I’ve found out that I am familiar with some of his works. I watched the “War of the Worlds” movie, and I know the story about the invisible man from my childhood. I just didn’t remember the author’s name.

The next thing to do was to choose the books I’m going to read to make a cover for them. First is “The Invisible Man”, it’s just enough to refresh it in the memory. At first I was going to make covers for some short stories, Wells wrote lots of them. I’ve read “The Door in the Wall”, “The Magic Shop” and “The Purple Pileus”. And was so attracted to it that decided to make covers not for short ones, but for two other big novels. I’ve read “The Food of the Gods” and “The Time Machine” with great pleasure.


I’ve started with the cover for “The Invisible Man”. I decided to make few versions and then decide which idea is more suitable for the books series design.

First, I’ve researched with existing covers for this book, and confirmed for myself that the most popular choice is the empty suite and a hat floating about it in the air.

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What could be on the cover.


Sometimes they use famous art works as book covers. Like in the Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code”, which has Mona Lisa on the cover. I’ve remembered that saw few works of Rene Magritte which can perfectly fit for this case.


Unfortunately, I had to drop the idea, because I couldn’t find Rene’s illustration that could be used for the cover of other two books


Thinking about pictures that could be used to illustrate the cover one more artist came to my mind. Pavel Philonov does have lots of works where people are almost merging with the background. They are just like invisible.


It’s not quite common decision for the cover, but I find it interesting. But again, I’ve found out that this could go only for one book.



I realised that for the book series it’s worth to draw covers myself. And first version was with the man melting in the snowstorm. But this also didn’t looke like what I wanted in terms of book series design.



And then I drew this cover and thought that this one is really good and easy to make book series with the similar style. Abstract geometric forms at background, cold colours and a plain illustration, which reflects the title and the contents of the book.

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Final cover for “The Invisible Man”





For the “The Time Machine” cover I drew the sand watch, where the time flows backwards.




On “The Food of the Gods” cover I was going to draw chicken, bee, rat and a child. Main creatures who tryed the magical food. But it didn’t really fit the other two covers, where each illustration repeats four times, so there’s only child left on the final version.





But I couldn’t reflect the contents of the book with just a baby. I had to add few details to stress the size of the child.


This is the final set.

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