I realize I haven’t really written about my process with designing a cover for ‘The War of the worlds’. The research is all in my sketchbook along with annotation but what I haven’t said is I got to a point where I’d made some designs and they weren’t having the affect I had intended.
I had decided to try paper cutting a scene of the martian tripod creatures approaching the London Skyline, I found a photograph of the London Skyline from 1935 which fitted with when the story was set, as the landmarks that appear in the book, one of which is St.Paul’s cathedral so I looked for that.
I chose a red backdrop because red features so strongly in the book, as the martians fills the area with red weeds. In reality I don’t think the paper cut is bold enough, it looks to fragile almost gentle rather than showing the kind of terror element of the book. I thought it would be a good technique to create something visually stunning but it doesn’t make me think of it as a ‘classic’.
I tried the paper cutting technique with the title cut in too, and against a green backdrop thinking this might make look a little more sci-fi.
I think this is when I realised this particular technique was never going to provide the result I was hoping for. Stuck I gave myself a break from working on it and began looking around the internet and came across a Blog that Penguin Books creative team use, called on the strand.
Whilst reading through the archive posts, I came across a few book covers that I thought really captured a feel I was looking for so saved the images and let them inspire some designs.