Kurt Vonnegut Book Illustration

book covers that blend biting satire and dystopian futures, depicting the looming future behind humanistic scenes rendered in simple colour.

For this project, featuring two of Kurt Vonnegut’s novels, I wanted to create covers that would illustrate not just the dystopian atmospheres of the stories, but also the often bright and humanistic characters and vignettes featured throughout. The small farm, tucked away from the sprawling, automated factories of “Player Piano” and the few last survivors of human kind lounging on the shores of a frozen beach in “Cat’s Cradle” both stood out to me. The designs for the covers contrast stark, monolithic typography with brightly colored, painterly scenes along the bottom edge, representing the relationship between the oppressive worlds of each book and the characters that inhabit them.

The primary elements of both book covers were separated to facilitate the application of different levels of gloss between the looming backgrounds and the painted illustrations as well as to allow for subtle embossing on the titles. The covers were developed from sketch roughs to color in Adobe Photoshop and the text was converted from vectors in Adobe Illustrator to make it easier to manipulate perspective and distress.