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.
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.