Over the Christmas holidays I decided to play about with some hand-made prints, using lino cutting tools and ink. My initial idea for the book cover was to create something unique and minimal, using dark colours and gritty font. I also wanted to stay away from creating anything with a pig on the cover! However starting out I was stuck on how to create a cover which gave enough information about the plot without using an image of a pig.
Using my lino cutting tools I created a print of a pigs behind, I thought this would create a sense of humour which contradicts the themes of the book. I created five pigs, four in black ink and one in red, to represent the leading pig Napoleon. To create the type, I used oil paint and sketched the letters quite roughly. after placing the images and type into illustrator I was quite happy with the quality of the images and started playing around with how I would place them onto a cover. I also experimented with different background colours and converting the black colours to white.
At first, I was very happy with the outcomes and I wanted to keep experimenting with my lino cutting tools. However after asking my peers for their opinions on the work, they said that the cover was quite boring, which made me think that I needed something more unique which gave my own personal stamp on the work.
My next idea was to use screen print to experiment with mixing different colours. I started by creating one page full of red, white and black ink mixed together to see what unusual patterns I could create. In my opinion all of the colours were very overpowering and if they were to work they would have to be scaled down. I decided to create a stencil of pigs feet print and place that on the screen, so that the mixture of colours would show in the form of trotters. After scanning the image onto my laptop I noticed that the colour of the paper had slightly faded and become more of a beige, yellow colour, it reminded me of a classic, old-fashioned book. I want to play on this idea, and decided to create a new type using my handwriting.
To create the type, I wrote the title ‘Animal farm’ several times on paper until I found one I was really happy with and was also easy to read. After placing the image and all of the provided text I felt as if the cover was visually pleasing however again it wasn’t giving you a sense of the story or any metaphorical imagery. I decided to look into the themes of the content once again, to find if I could take a different approach with the imagery on the cover. One theme that stood out to me was ‘produce’, in my opinion this is one if the main reasons that the animals decided to protest in the book. The animals are tired of being used for their produce, it says in the book that “Man is the only creature that consumes without producing”, this inspired me to think about greed, which is another main theme of the book. I decided it would be really interesting to create a minimal image that was metaphorical and showed humans greed all in one.
I decided to picture a plastic bag, representing a butchers bag, filled to the brim with meat. I would also have sausages bulging out of the bag to suggest how full it is. After taking several images of the bag, I decided to play around with the hue starvation to see what unusual effects I could create. I decided to create blue background because it reminded me of something cold and mysterious, which I think worked really well with the metaphorical idea.
However, after having a group tutorial I was told that the first thing that came to their minds was the American Flag, which has no relevance to the story. I was told that the font worked well with the image, the elegant type and the harsh image contradict each other similar to the large contraction which is suggested in the book’s plot. Overall I was happy with the idea, however I wanted to change and experiment further with the layout and colours of the cover.
Keeping the same idea and style, I decided to re-photograph the image in a more professional setting, so that there weren’t any visible lines behind the bag. I decided to have a gradient behind the image to create depth and to pull all of the focus onto the bag. I decided to keep the elegant type, placing the title ‘Animal farm’ the top and ‘George Orwell’ at the bottom. what I liked about this layout was the clear sense of hierarchy, the bulging sausages are as if they are leading you down to read the author’s name.
On the back, I decided to play around with the text so that it was tidy, and that all of the quotations were in italics. I also created the provided text using my handwriting so that there is a clear connection between the front and back cover.