Vera Book Cover Design

Client Hesperus Press

Format 195 x 125 mm, paperback

Skills InDesign, Photoshop, picture research

Vera, written by Elizabeth von Arnim, is a precursor to Daphne du Maurier’s novel Rebecca. In the story, a recently orphaned naive girl meets a widower, and marries him in haste. Moving into the widower’s mansion, she finds mystery of the first wife’s suicide hangs over their marriage and becomes obsessed with learning the truth.

Vera book cover design. Full book cover design, including the spine, flaps and back cover, to a reprint of the novel by Elizabeth von Arnim. The covers features an image of a lone young woman at the end of a hallway standing against a window. She is dressed in period clothing and the walls of the corridor are decorated with ornate panelling. The image is dark and moody, with shadows closing in around the young woman. The title appears in a large prominent script font at the top of the front cover, with the author’s name above it. The back cover, spine and flaps are in an pastel green colour and decorated with ornate looking patterns. The back flap features an image of the author.

Vera book cover design. Front cover design to a reprint of the novel by Elizabeth von Arnim. The covers features an image of a lone young woman at the end of a hallway standing against a window. She is dressed in period clothing and the walls of the corridor are decorated with ornate panelling. The image is dark and moody, with shadows closing in around the young woman. The title appears in a large prominent script font at the top of the front cover, with the author’s name above it.

The brief: Vera

Hesperus Press contracted me to design the cover for a new edition of Vera. Their brief wanted the design to reflect the 1920s setting of the novel. They also wanted to incorporate a figure of a young woman, wearing suitable clothing from the 1920s. The client also wanted the cover to look sinister, without being too over-the-top.

The design: Vera

The image of the woman, which appears on the final book cover, was supplied by the client. I did mock up some different options, using some alternative picture choices that I had researched, but the client was happy with their original choice. It was a strong image – the focus upon the figure of the young woman, against the window, suited the brief. I added more shadow to act as a vignette around the woman, which helped to create a sense of  ‘darkness’ closing in. This also removed some unnecessary features from the original image – such as a hanging chandelier fitting. It also allowed me more room to make the author name and title stand out more.