Booklicious: The Greatest Novels of All Time, Redesigned for Your Wall

October 01, 2012

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In 2003, Robert McCrum of the Observer compiled a list of the 100 greatest novels of all time. This year, to celebrate the list and raise awareness of illiteracy, Belgian design firm Beshart commissioned 100 artists to redesign the covers of those novels in poster form, unveiling them on International Literacy Day (Sept. 8). I've included some of my favorites below, along with each artist's reason for selecting their particular novel; you can view the rest — and purchase them if you wish — here

In light of the renewed interest in his list, McCrum reflected on his work this past weekend. 


    TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, DESIGNED BY PAUL BOARDMAN:
    “I chose this title because it is one of my favourite books, really. I think it approaches very serious subject matters with a remarkable lightness of touch — with characters that are instantly memorable.”


    AS I LAY DYING, DESIGNED BY EMMA COOK
     “The continual tragedy from one character to the next drew me to the book. The story is quite tragicomic in the ridiculous amount of misfortune that befalls the different family members. I have a love for dark stories.”


     DON QUIXOTE, DESIGNED BY LOBULO DESIGN
     “Don Quijote is without doubt the most important book in Spain. I remember making different works about this book as a kid in school, maybe this is the reason why I chose it. I created the three stages in the life of Quixote: knight, mad and finally dead. This cover is created by tiling creating different triangle structures made out of paper.”


     MOBY DICK, DESIGNED BY SHELLEY REVILL
    “I read Moby Dick a couple of years ago and loved the depictions of life on a whaling ship. It is very visceral and dramatic. A time and lifestyle far removed from me. It is a layered book with lots of symbolism, with themes of obsession, religion, mortality, might and progress. I was inspired by the whaling log books I saw scans of online, with their beautiful calligraphy and the whale stamps that they used to depict their haul (you can see my reference to that in the sea in my image). Moby Dick and his perceived evil barbarism is in fact entirely projected by the Captain Ahab. A creation of mind and word and since Moby Dick is also a rare albino whale he is shown in my image with bright white lettering. It is a complex and rewarding story of adventure. Well worth a read!”


    FRANKENSTEIN, DESIGNED BY SIMON EVERAERT
    “I didn’t choose the Frankenstein cover, but the Frankenstein chose me! I accepted this challenge with open arms and tried to give it a twist so it puts a smile on your face while it’s a tragic story...”


     L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, DESIGNED BY LIAM BUSHBY
     “I chose this book as I spent some time in LA last year. There is a really strange and unique feel to the place and having not read a lot of the other books, it definitely felt this one would be a good fit.” “What I’ve done with the cover: When it came to an idea for the cover, it didn’t take too much thought. I explored a few ideas but this felt the simplest and strongest as a cover. I also didn’t want it to be too cryptic or indulgent, as it quite easily could have become. I liked the mix of a big visual and small title, and also the way I could incorporate a brief synopsis of the story line seamlessly into the design.”


    CLARISSA, DESIGNED BY CRISTIAN G. CASTELLON
    "The creativity and technique of two disciplines as diverse as hairdressing and graphic design merge together in projects where the raw material is colour, hair, cardboard and an optimistic vision of the world.” 



     ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND, DESIGNED BY TIM VAN DEN BROECK
     “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a story that carries me away from the daily worries to a place of wonder and wisdom. It triggers my imagination, makes me smile and teaches me a great deal about myself and life in general. The illustration is drawn with graphite pencils. I wanted to pay tribute to the black and white illustrations by Sir John Tenniel in the original book and I also took the opportunity to experiment with a technique that is different from my usual, more digital work.”

1 comments

tom said... @ October 1, 2012 at 6:50 PM

thanks for helping us spread the word.

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