The Mad Toy Book Cover Design

Client Hesperus Press

Format 195 x 125 mm

Skills InDesign, Photoshop, picture research

The Mad Toy, first novel by Roberto Arlt, was originally published in 1932. The book, set on the streets of Buenos Aires in the early twentieth century, was part autobiographical, and combined humor and realism together with a detective story.

The Mad Toy book cover design. Designed by freelance book cover designer Roland Codd. Published by independent book publisher Hesperus Press. The image shows the full cover including the front, back, spine and flaps of the book. The main image of the front cover is a close-up of an old, weathered, green wooden door. The title appears in large bold sans-serif type, each word taking up a line, and fills nearly the whole cover. The back cover features a close-up of the same wooden door and includes a quote from inside the book – 'What I want is to be admired by others, praised by others. To be forgotten when you die, that's horrible. Oh if my inventions could only have some success! But I will die one day, and the trains will keep on running, and people will go the theatre like they always did, and I'll be dead, good and dead... dead for life'.

The Mad Toy book cover design. Designed by freelance book cover designer Roland Codd. Published by independent book publisher Hesperus Press. The image shows the front cover of the book. The main image of the front cover is a close-up of an old, weathered, green wooden door. The title appears in large bold sans-serif type, each word taking up a line, and fills nearly the whole cover. The author's name, Roberto Arlt, also features prominently, along with the name Colm Tobin, who provides a foreword to the book.

The brief: The Mad Toy

For the new edition, the client asked me to look at the covers of the books written by Gabriel Garcia – as this was the market they were targeting. They suggested looking for images of Buenos Aires – of a rundown or derelict building,

The design: The Mad Toy

I looked for old images of Argentina and Buenos Aires. However, finding a suitable image of the location and time period proved difficult. In the end, I chose to go for a use a more abstract/weathered image. I liked the large, stacked type against the background – the three letter, three word title was the perfect width for this.

I chose the image of the closed door as I liked the mystery of what could be lurking behind it – perhaps it is the Mad Toy?