2013 Chinese eBook Cover Design Contest: Second Prize: Mr Ferris’s Fables


2013 Chinese eBook Cover Design Contest: Second Prize Winner: Mr Ferris’s Fables

The Basics:

About This Book:

Mr Ferris collects myths and legends and turns them into fables, using animals, seasons and the natural environment — and sometimes himself — as main characters, to convey a sense of satire.

About This Author:

Mr Ferris conveys his daily observations using the framework of “a novel within a novel”. Like The Life of Pi, in which the protagonist’s life story is supplemented by his friend’s experience.

Mr Ferris is interested in discovering how the past can be realized and transformed through the “present”. How the “third-person point-of-view” can be changed by the destiny created by the “first-person point-of-view”? He will continue exploring this theme in his writing.

Cover Design Ideas and Development Process:

“Mis-readings” by Mr Ferris:

Whether a book is paper-based or electronic, does its cover decide who its readers would be?

Prior to entering the world created by a book, we have all had such experience as “mis-reading”, as a result of what we feel about the book’s title, author, and the sense of design conveyed by its cover!

A book is like a container of a particular shape and size. It captures us, drawing us towards certain kinds of “cultural codes”. The same book may have considerably different cover designs in different cultures. More importantly, when a classic returns to the contemporary market, how it is re-interpreted by us today is shown through its cover design.

The reason is simple. When you think of the book that most influenced you, what emerges in your mind is often of a visual nature. Although the story itself may have mottled, its edges chipped and its paint flaked away, you would always remember how your mind once wandered through the time and space it created!

Umberto Eco, the famous Italian semiotician, essayist, philosopher, literary critic and novelist, intentionally presents in his numerous writings the paradox often faced by authors. While authors express what they want in their books, such expression is often interspersed with their intention to meet their readers.

The cover designs of Eco’s writings feature lots of paintings from the Renaissance period or earlier. These paintings display a sense of magical realism that characterizes the arts of the Middle Ages, which peaked the development of all theological, religious, philosophical and historical thoughts. It was also throughout this period that various schools of literature were integrated into a language of symbols!

Whenever you enter the world created by a book, the pleasure of being a reader is to go beyond the borders designated by the author. Try using a different mindset as you explore it. You will learn to appreciate it, or to even mis-read it, in a brand new way.

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