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Penguin Student Design Award 2018 Adult Fiction: Animal Farm by George Orwell

Research •

I read Animal Farm in school and I’m very familiar with it. I immediately thought about propaganda and political posters and wanted to try and incorporate elements of those into the cover and design.


Researched previous covers and realised that most of them had also gone for that approach so needed to come up with something original.


Perhaps rushed through drawing my roughs and getting them onto my laptop to build up. Thought I had a confident idea but once I got to building it up it went downhill- unclear idea of what approach to take.

I worked with a few different colour ways but didn’t really feel like the piece was working together as a whole or really very ‘original’.

Roughs take two •

Decided to start over using a different concept. Thought it would make it bolder and stand out while also less generic. ‘Animals’ on a ‘farm’ felt a little obvious.

In reflection my second attempt probably wasn’t obvious enough!

Did feel a lot more like my work- more comfortable with it.

I would say the challenge with this was getting the text right. I do find text difficult and haven’t spent a great deal of time trying to refine it until this year.

I’ve always thought I wasn’t very good at text but I’ve realised now its just because I haven’t had any confidence with it- text doesn't have to actually be good (consider Oliver Jeffers and Mark Conlan). Their rougher approach works better for me, but my text work is new and still being explored meaning I still lacked confidence when it came to actually doing it.

Final Thoughts •

I think my second attempt was a lot better than my first. However I’m still not too keen on the final outcome. As a full front and back piece it is ok but when the front stands a lone it lacks impact. In the future I think I need to ensure that both the front and back don’t just work well together but also independently as they would be seen on a shelf.

Still unhappy with the final text outcome too, while I feel more confident doing small headers and titles I don't think I am strong enough at text for it to be one of the sole focuses of an image. For book covers text is obviously really important so it is something I need to continue developing.

Animal Farm 2  
Animal Farm 2