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A Scanner Darkly

I'm pretty excited about where this is going. I added some more bugs, but I set them further back than the others. I like that it looks like the book is being consumed slowly by bugs. Jerry Fabin went mad because the bugs made him feel as if he were drowning, which is what I imagine drug addiction to sort of feel like. I moved some of the letters around slightly so hopefully they're a little more readable. I hope that the scrambled/ loss of identity feeling still shows through with the edition of the bugs. I guess some questions i'd like to ask are: Too many bugs? Not enough bugs (I did a version with more but I did not like it)? Bad placement of bugs? Do we like the black? Is the spine not thought out enough?

Which reminds me, and explanation of my thinking on the spine. I like the one bug kind of creeping on. I think on a shelf i'd see it and be like "what's up with that bug?" and then when you pull the book out it's covered in them.

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These are some full jackets. I tried one reversed as suggested but I also threw some little Aphids on there. I tried photographed Aphids and they seemed out of place so I drew some scribbly ones. I'm curious about what you think of the aphids. I don't think I like them but I really was trying to add something different and colorful to the design. I honestly still like it white and plain like the one below the black one.

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Okay! One of the things that really bothered me about the compositions that had the kind of patchwork gray backgrounds is that they looked really solid and obstructed the type which feels kind of glitchy. I was ready to toss the background all together, but then I thought of this

  

Here's my thinking: The "dots" (as i'm calling them) allude to many things in the story. The way they kind of infest the type reminds me of the story of Jerry Fabin and the bugs that take over his apartment. They also look a bit like pixels, alluding to the screen that Fred/Bob watches himself on. They match the type's scrambled look and add another element to the design without taking away from the type. I also think the spine could have a lot of them on it.

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Okay, so I ditched the background. I decided to play around with the type and sort of riff off of the 3rd composition in the 1st set I did. The problem with that composition was that it's hard to read but I wanted to play with it till it was readable but still interesting. I also tried adding color. I think I like the black and white better. I'm starting to really like where these are going and maybe soon i'll start making the full jacket.

 

 

 

Oddly enough I think I still like this one best

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I started playing with really over stressing the type, but I really didn't like it. It was sort of losing the kind of scrambled look and becoming more like something that had been hit by a truck. Didn't really match the vibe of the book. I still have some other ideas but I wanted to play with some textures as a background to the cover. I don't know if I like the scramble type in addition to the textures, or the textures by themselves, or if I miss the stark white backgrounds. I don't think any of these really make the cut but I'd still like to hear some feedback (if you click these you can see the larger versions).

   

Another aspect of the book I recently thought about, which doesn't seem to be explored in any of the other covers is the very first chapter. The first chapter tells the story of Jerry Fabin who starts to hallucinate bugs. His obsession with the bugs crawling on him, as well as everything he owns, makes him go so mad that he is eventually a danger to himself and his friends (more so than the deadly narcotics they all consume on a daily basis, I guess). Though we don't really hear from Jerry again after he's put in a rehab, he is often mentioned by the other characters in the book as a kind of allegory for craziness. Jerry hallucinates aphids and I'm wondering if they might be a nice design element.

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So I really like type and experimenting with type and photos off of the computer. I really wanted to riff off of this scramble suit thing because I think the way it mixes up the main character's appearence is also a nice symbol for how his sense of identity is also "scrambled". So I printed out the title of the book in 10 or so fonts, upper and lowercase, cut them up and pasted them back together to make the letters look like they're kind of frankensteined together. I made two of these little type experiments and then took photos of them (because I have no scanner and the guy in my office who does sits a whole 3 doors down from me and maybe I shouldn't be thinking about skillshare at work) and put them back onto the computer. I layered the two images and then I decided to start messing around with the composition of the cover. I'd love some feedback. These are sort of glorified sketches, I don't even know if I'm going in the right direction.

    

and also these are the original photos

 

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Phillip K Dick is my favorite author. While I think any of his books would have made an excellent project i've chosen to reimagine the cover for A Scanner Darkly. I've never seen the film version though I am aware of it's existence. I don't really like any of the covers for the book i've seen. Most of them depict blue flowers which come into play at the very end of the book. It's a bit of a spoiler and I just don't think it plays into the themes of the story. Other versions of the cover have kind of super 70's-tastic illustrations on them.

    

I think alot of people think of this book as being about drug addiction (...which it is) but the book also deals with loss of identity and I guess kind of an out of body view of yourself. The main character is leading a dual life both as a drug addict named Bob and a narcotics officer named Fred. Fred hides his identity by wearing a "scramble suit", which is a suit that scrambles his appearence into many people all at once (this is a terrible description, I apologize) so that not even his employers know his true identity. Fred has been assigned to spy on Bob (himself) and his house mates. Fred worries that when he sees himself on film he will not be able to recognize his image. He hopes that when he sees his true self on camera that he will see himself as a good person. As he watches himself on screen his identities begin to seperate and he can no longer identify himslef as Bob when he is wearing his scramble suit. Likewise Bob forgets about Fred's existence all together when he's not at work.

Of all the cover's that i've seen, I like the first edition the best.

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