Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /misc/16/000/335/772/2/user/web/ on line 36

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest: Final Covers

Also coming to a close last week was the Penguin Book Covers project consisting of typesetting the first 2 chapters of the book, turning the book into a magazine and 2 covers – 1 digital and 1 handmade.

Before my critique on Wednesday, I was one of the lucky few picked to meet and discuss my work with David Pearson, the book cover genius and former Penguin Books designer (before he set up his own studio) on Tuesday. You can read my post about it on Discourse (the course blog) here, including quotes from other students and a few photos. I was cheeky/geeky enough (this is what blogging does to you) to ask for a photo with David:

L-R: David Pearson, Chris, Amber, Danielle, Tom, Moi & Sammy

I was so happy to be picked for the opportunity and really enjoyed talking to David. He’s SUCH a nice man, had something positive to say about everything and it was really interesting to listen to his experiences. The only frustrating thing was that I had already submitted my work for assessment (digitally) so when David was suggesting ways I could change/improve my work I was kicking myself because I knew I couldn’t make any changes to what I’d handed in! I can do some more work on them before the competition deadline in January though 🙂

Last time I spoke to you (about this project) I showed you my Book as a Magazine and then for the 2 weeks after I’ve been working on my covers.

My first cover is not a direct representation of the fishing trip that the patients go on, but based around how McMurphy is a ‘small fish’, being reeled in and controlled by Nurse Ratched and authority. The paperclip rod passes through the eye to symbolise the lobotomy that takes place near the end of the book.

First draft, I was French… English spines should read from top to bottom – Ooops!

After sorting the spine out, I didn’t really mess around with the rest of the design because I was happy with the minimalist look.

This is my assessment submission, for which I added a coloured spine, justified the blurb and added water splashes of foil. The splashes on the back help to add some movement and show that McMurphy was rebelling and putting up a fight. Here are some beauty shots:

With suggestions from the tutors I have made some slight changes…

I changed the width of the blurb to be as wide as the fish tail and added a few more splashes.

Before                                                                           After

My second cover is based around the laughter that was so alien in the mental asylum. McMurphy is the only patient to laugh, with the others never having heard laughter and they don’t understand it. I thought this was quite strange because the stereotype of someone who is mentally unstable includes having a crazy laugh.

To show that the laughter was alien, I reversed it to make it un recognisable and used a chalkboard/ scratchy style typeface.

I looked at different positioning for the lips, which I made from string..

…but didn’t really like having the text shaped to the lips, so looked at having a strip of colour:

Above is the version which I submitted for assessment and the beauty shots below…

After my presentation to the tutors, Barrie made suggestions to get rid of the strip of colour on the back (and use the laughing texture) and use the same typeface on the spine, so  I decided to test them out..

I think I prefer this final design, with the laughter building up to form a white space so the blurb is legible.

Wow! That was a long post, sorry! I’d like to think I am going to update a bit more frequently for this new project instead of explaining the whole process in one post haha.
I still don’t know my grades yet (long story) so still got my fingers crossed.


  • Rebecca

    05/03/2012 at 8:43 pm

    Wow these are great which one are you entering into the competition?

      • Rebecca

        05/03/2012 at 9:08 pm

        I really like your fish entry its not something I wouldn’t have originally thought about but its coming for a totally different angle which will appeal more.

        Whens the competition deadline? or have you already submitted

  • Rebecca

    06/03/2012 at 10:21 pm

    Well weird today I went into uni and guess what brief we got the penguin design competition. Hope I can create something great like this. Good Luck

    • graphiquefantastique

      07/03/2012 at 5:55 pm

      Ah that’s exciting! I really enjoyed the project and I’m sure you will too. When you finish your design, you must show me 🙂

Leave a Reply

© Natasha Nuttall | January 2022

%d bloggers like this: