The Professor Book Cover Design

Client Hesperus Press

Format 195 x 125 mm, paperback

Skills InDesign, Photoshop, picture research

The Professor was the first novel by Charlotte Brontë, written before Jane Eyre. During her lifetime it was rejected by many publishing houses, finally seeing print in 1857, two years after her death. The Professor is narrated from the point of view of William Crimsworth, a young man, who worked as a teacher at an all-girls boarding school in Brussels. The book followed his love life and the ups and downs of his career.

Book cover design for the full cover of The Professor by Charlotte Bronte including the front cover, spine, back cover and front and back flaps. The cover features an image of red apple sitting on a stack of old leatherbound books on top a wooden surface. The book title, The Professor, appears in classic typeface at the top, with the author's name, Charlotte Bronte appearing at the bottom in a matching classic typeface. The back cover features a blurb about the story and includes a closeup image of the apple from the front cover. The back flap features a black and white portrait of Charlotte Bronte with a brief biography about her below. Both flaps use part of the brown wood texture from the front cover as a background.

Book cover design for the front of The Professor by Charlotte Bronte. The cover features an image of red apple sitting on a stack of old leatherbound books on top a wooden surface. The book title, The Professor, appears in classic typeface at the top.

The brief: The Professor

I was briefed by Hesperus press to design a cover that would show that main character is a teacher in a school. The client wanted to make sure that the image used would be relevant to the era that the book is set in, so it had to avoid any historical details. This also meant that I had to avoid any photographs that featured a person.

The design: The Professor

Initially, I provided the client with several different approaches for design. These options were based around school, learning and classrooms, and included images of old journals, chalk boards, reading glasses, a pocket watch and a school bell.

The image of the apple on top of the school books, while being a bit of a cliché, was my favourite option. I liked the colours. The client agreed.