Venus In the Cloister Book Cover Design

Client Hesperus Press

Format 195 x 125 mm, paperback

Skills InDesign, Photoshop, picture research, art working

Venus In The Cloister, also known as The Nun In Her Smock, was an erotic fiction written by Abbé du Prat in 1683. It contains an erotic dialogue that takes place between two nuns.

Venus in the Cloister book cover design by Roland Codd. Published by Hesperus Press. Full cover (including the front, back, spine and flaps). The front cover features a closeup the lower half of a nun's face as she kisses a cruicix against her lips. The book cover features a quote from the book – 'Oh God! Sister Angelique, do not come into my room; I am not decent right now. Do you think anyone should be caught in my state? I really did think I had closed the door...'.

Venus in the Cloister book cover design by Roland Codd. Published by Hesperus Press. The front cover features a suggestive blue tinted duotone image of a close-up of the lower half of a nun's face while she presses a cruifix against her lips.

The brief: Venus In The Cloister

Hesperus Press wanted to republish the book to take advantage of the (then) Fifty Shades of Grey market of erotic fiction. The brief was create a cover with religious imagery and dark, sexual overtones.

The design: Venus In The Cloister

In the initial options, I provide the client with some mock-ups that used religious images and icons – rosary beads, crucifixes, hands in prayer, etc. I wanted to use a strong, close-up image.

The image of the nun – touching a crucifix to her lips – was the best option. It was suggestive, without being too brazen. I had to crop into the image to remove the top part of the nun’s face. The model in the photo was also wearing lipstick and black nail polish, so I had to remove those in Photoshop. Finally, I added a blue duotone effect to the image, which matched the look of other titles in the Fifty Shades of Grey market.

For the type, I wanted a classical serif typeface, but I also wanted to make the word Venus stand out more – I chose a more script-like font for this. The use of a blood red colour for Venus also drew attention to the tile and added some extra colour to the cover.