We love to see new ways of looking at books, and artist and illustrator Samantha Mabley has done just that with her Rediscover the Cover project, in which she will design a new cover for every book she reads and loves. Check out her five imaginative takes on some children's classics and modern best-sellers:
Left Overs by Stella Newman
This book is a great holiday book – a feel good, fun book that made me laugh out loud. I wanted this cover to be playful and revolve around the main theme of the book: food. So I thought, why not create the title out of pasta? Bright and girly colours were important so it would stand out on the bookshelf and appeal to women – after all, it is chick lit. If you enjoy this book, you might also like Pear Shaped by Stella Newman, which I have also designed a cover for.
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Everyone knows this story, and it certainly is a classic. I focused on the nicer side of this story for the cover. Even though the story in itself is very dark and quite brutal in places, I didn’t think that would sell a book. So I avoided the blood and battles and focused on the flora and fauna with a nice simple, crisp, clean design.
The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood
This is a thriller about three little girls who meet for the first time, and by the end of the day two of them are charged with murder. As this is quite a dark story, I thought the cover should mirror this. I chose quite a grungy look, adding texture to the design and using grainy fonts. Hopefully it portrays the atmosphere of the book, which is quite chilling. I feel this book appeals to both male and female consumers so I made sure colours stayed neutral: no pinks or blues.
The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
In this story, a lady finds a mysterious envelope in her attic with her husband’s writing on the front: ‘To be opened only in the event of my death’. The contents of the letter will ultimately wreck their family and the lives of others, so this had to be a key feature of the cover. The story also revolves around various families, so I wanted the home to play a big part in the illustration. I then merged these two ideas to make an eye catching cover.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
This book is another classic that I was excited to design a new cover for. I read it when I was a little girl with my mum, and we would take turns to read alternate chapters out loud. When I think back to my memories of this book, I imagined beautiful overgrown gardens. I wanted to convey this in the cover, by designing an illustration that was overflowing with patterns, flowers and colour. Of course I couldn’t forget the hidden door and the key to the door, which features as a pattern.
Samantha Mabley’s latest project Rediscover the Cover redesigns book covers, including best-selling titles and much-loved classics. It is only the beginning of her journey and she has many more books to design, so if you want to keep track of her progress, visit Samantha's site www.rediscoverthecover.co.uk and join her Facebook page.