His Family Book Cover Design

Client Hesperus Press

Format 195 x 125 mm, paperback

Skills InDesign, Photoshop, picture research

His Family, written by Ernest Poole, was published in 1917. It received the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel in 1918, the first book to do so. His Family, set in New York in the 1910s, told the story of middle-class widower Roger Gale and the struggles of family life as he attempted to raise his three daughters.

His Family book cover design for Hesperus Press. The full cover design shows the front, back, spine and flaps of the book cover design. The front cover design shows an image of a vintage silver pocket watch and chain, positioned against a wooden box. The book title is in a classic serif font with the author’s name, Ernest Poole, beneath it. At the the top of the cover is a strapline – Pulitzer Prize-Winnning Novel. The back cover features some promotional blurb for the book and includes a close-up of the pocket watch from the front cover. On the back flap is a black and white image of the author Ernest Poole.

His Family book cover design. The front cover design shows a close-up of an open antique looking silver fob watch. The watch is leaning against an old looking wooded box with a bronze clasp lock upon it. The image is dark and moody looking. The title is is centred along the bottom of the cover with the author's name, Ernest Poole, beneath it. The font is a classic serif typeface. A strapline along the top of the cover reads Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novel.

Press advert design for His Family. This is a magazine advert to promote the release of the book. The design is based on the book cover design and features the same vintage pocket watch, the book title, author’s name and the Pulitzer Prize winning novel strapline. In addition the press advert design includes the description ‘A moving drama set in New York about a family on the cusp of change’, the Summer 2015 release date and the logo and contact details for Hesperus Press.

The brief: His Family

The brief from the client was to design a similar to the original 1917 edition. This cover had featured a grey silhouette of a house against a New York background, with the main title in red. The client also wanted to emphasis that the His Family was the first to win the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel.

My design: His Family

Finding an appropriate image from that era, within the clients budget, proved problematic. I felt that most of the images I researched were too modern or just not interesting enough.

I decided upon a different approach, choosing a strong image of a vintage silver pocket watch. My idea was that this is type of watch that may have belonged to the main character from the novel. The image of the pocket watch also gives a sense of the passing of time – something that plays a part in the story. I also liked the dark atmosphere of this image. To allow some extra breathing room for the type I added some extra shading to the top and bottom of the image.
 I used a classic serif typeface for the title, to complement the image.

In addition to the cover design of His Family, I also designed press adverts and a promotional sticker.