The Big Sleep
The Big Sleep is a serious and significant mainstream novel that just happens to possess elements of mystery and crime. The story is well known both in celluloid and print so it is essential to come at it from a fresh angle. Try to design a new cover for a new generation of readers, avoiding the obvious clichés. Originality is key.
I knew from the start that I wanted to keep this book cover very clean and contemporary to appeal to new and younger audiences. The main image on the front depicts a slightly skew door ajar, this hints towards the meaning of ‘The Big Sleep’ with the light spreading in giving the impression that there is something on the ‘other side.’ When you turn the book over the skirting board continues but reveals a blank wall, this is to coincide with the ajar door on the front cover,
representing the stark possibility of nothing on the ‘other side.’ Not only does this design represent the ‘big sleep’, it also gives the audience a feel of mystery and suspense with the ajar door and yet they feel compelled to want to know what really is on the other side of the door.
The styling of the book cover hints back to the film noir period throughout the 50’s and 60’s that spawned from this book and also has ties with the famous work of Saul Bass. The use of red with the display type hints at bloodshed and pain. The choice of display typography reflects classic 1930’s america design and pairs well with the more contemporary choice of body type.