Thursday, 29 January 2015

Alice in Wonderland - initial designs of the front cover

I began generating ideas for my front cover illustration by taking inspiration from my mindmap and iconic scenes from the Alice and Wonderland narrative. I felt that the front cover had to include Alice in the image, so that the book can be identified without having to read the title. I immediately thought that the most iconic scenes with in Alice and Wonderland were, falling down the rabbit hole, Mad Hatters tea party and the game of croquet with the Queen of Hearts. I wanted to experiment with using these scenes as a basis for the front cover so that it can be recognisable to the consumers with the additional change of the character design.

Focusing on the different scenes as influence, I started with the falling down the rabbit hole design for the cover which I felt was the most successful of the initial designs that I had created through the use of the items and structure of the composition. The use of the items helps to set the scene of the bizarre narrative of the book and attract the attention of the young audience and gift buyers that the publishers want for their target market. I felt that the second design that I created using this theme did not work as well, as the perspective was not as successful through the aesthetics of the composition. The audience could possibly tell it was Alice through the blue dress and the blonde hair, however I felt that it would not be as appealing to the target market through how complex the perspective of the items and character were with in the image. Designing with the theme of the Mad Hatters tea party, I felt that the initial designs I created worked well with the theme but a few of the angles were not as successful, through how the main character could not be depicted as well as the other designs and would not work with the young audience that it is aimed at. However one design which includes the Mad Hatter as well as the main character which would work better for a book illustration rather than the front cover due to the complexity of the contents in the image. I generated ideas with the Queen of Hearts theme however the majority felt like it would be more suitable in a book illustration rather than a front cover, through the incorporation of more than one character and the environment that the characters would be in. I did find one of the designs to be possibly suitable for a front cover design, for example the design in which Alice paints the roses red. I liked this composition as it was far more simple and attractive to the target audience through the structure of the image compared to the previous ideas. Looking at the design more critically, I noted that the composition would be more successful if used for a colouring book cover, which would work well for the target audience and to improve my skills further in refining my practice and looking beyond the brief.

I then moved on to experimenting with just including the character Alice on the book cover, with an ornate border to relate to the Victorian era in which Lewis Carroll first wrote the narrative. I liked the design and felt that I could take the design further by refining the imagery by using silhouettes or different shapes and styles of borders. To gain more inspiration I used my visual mood boards for the project, in which I began making designs that focused specific items rather than the character. For example one of the designs incorporated Alices hand which had a label from a bottle that would contain the title of the book. I felt that this worked well for both the cover and the narration of the book however it did not work with the target audience through how it was too minimalistic for the young viewers to be able to associate the front cover with the main narrative. I took this idea of focusing on props rather than the main character further, using designs that involved Alice reading a sign post with the cheshire cat in the background, to the main character running across a hand from a clock. I felt that these designs worked however they were missing something in which to make it more visually appealing to the target audience, which I need to experiment with and refine further.

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