Book Cover Redesign
During my first semester at Lone Star College, we were tasked with redesigning a book cover, back cover, and spine for our Digital Imaging I class. I chose The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu, a French artist, writer, and the lead singer of the band Dionysos. I fell in love with the band's charm after seeing the music video for their hit song "Tais-toi mon coeur", which was part of a much larger story involving a boy whose heart was replaced with a cuckoo clock. One of the rules that he must live by in order to keep his heart working is to never fall in love, which is exactly what he does.
After diving into the band's discography, I was delighted to find out that the song's album was being turned into an animated movie, and in the meantime, I could read the story in the form of a short novel.
I was inspired by the late 1800s (and somewhat steampunk) setting of the book and the visuals from the animated film as well as the original animated music video to create this new cover design. The story features a mysterious traveling circus in the desert and the protagonist's love interest is a fiery-spirited dancer. I incorporated gears as a nod to protagonist Jack's titular heart as well as the silhouette of two people dancing to indicate the beautiful if complicated romance between Jack and Miss Acacia, who is adorned with rose and thorn motifs in the film.
The spine is decorated with a golden bird, since birds are a recurring motif in Malzieu's works, including this one. The front and back feature carnival-style stripes in warm-to-neutral hues to evoke a feeling of vintage nostalgia from the novel's intended time period.
An alternate design I had in mind was much colder, in a manner of speaking - my idea was to show his clock-heart contraption lying in the snow surrounded by scattered pieces of its inner workings. It was much more morbid in nature, which isn't too out of line considering the story's somewhat mature themes at times, but it felt very basic and perhaps a bit too frosty for my tastes.