Puffin Book Cover: Grimm’s Fairy Tales
Each year, Penguin Books runs a pair of competitions to design a cover for the Penguin and Puffin range of books (Puffin being the children’s branch).
This year, the Puffin book is Grimm’s Fairy Tales, a collection of classic fairy tales and fables from the Brothers Grimm.
I figured there were 3 main aspects I wanted to hit on with my design: Fairytales (obviously), a clean and modern design, and a bit of heritage or link to the classical nature of the book, especially given that it’s the 200th anniversary of the collection itself.
I used a classic serif typeface (Goudy Becker Old Style for body text, Goudy Becker Handtooled Discaps for display text) to push the idea of antiquity and heritage, while applying it into a crisp, clean and modern design. Keeping things minimal, I did some sketches of some iconic elements from the Grimm’s tales, specifically Rumpelstiltskin’s spinning wheel, Rapunzel’s tower (though in this version I removed the hair, as I was not sure if Rapunzel was actually included in this version, so it’s just a castle tower), and the Frog Prince. Each of these is emerging from a different page, presenting the idea that it’s bursting with content and appealing to a broad audience.
Once I sketched them, I created vector versions in Illustrator and arranged them with the title, which I tweaked to be more visually interesting and playful. Afterwards, I imported them into Photoshop to apply some clipping mask textures, allowing it to be more colourful and to add a bit of tactility to the cover design. Additionally, I created a soft gradient with some noise as a background texture.