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A Wrinkle in Time

CHOOSING A TITLE // INITIAL RESEARCH

To start, I crowdsourced my book list to my Facebook pals, with these options:

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Pippi Longstocking
  • A Wrinkle In Time
  • Anastasia Krupnik
  • Any of the Harry Potter books
  • Any of the A Series of Unfortunate Events books

Why crowdsourcing? I was trying to gauge natural reactions to these books — and having a screen to hide behind, I was hoping for some vitriol, considering two are/have been on banned lists (Harry Potter and Anastasia Krupnik), one is a literary classic (Alice in Wonderland) , two have the "everyone read that" cachet (Pippi Longstocking and A Wrinkle in Time), and one was popular but has mostly fallen out of favor, as far as I'm aware (A Series of Unfortunate Events).

No one got frothed at the mouth over my choices, but I was surprised at the mild response. Only three received votes of any strength (meaning, the person had a genuine, vested interest in the book): Alice in Wonderland, A Wrinkle in Time, and Anastasia Krupnik. The biggest response was from one woman in particular, who expressed interest in seeing A Wrinkle in Time redesigned, as, "It's been so long since I've read it, but that would be interesting to see."

My real preferences were towards Pippi Longstocking, A Wrinkle in Time, and Anastasia Krupnik. I decided to do away with the first as my initial image searches showed that people tended to interpret the character of Pippi literally, most with an illustration of a scene from within the book, and many with drawings of her hair, dress, or shoes. I found exactly one cover, an Italian release, that I thought was a good variation on the "Pippi's clothes" aspect:

I chose not to work on a cover for Anastasia Krupnik once I started to reread the book. Although the settings and some of the characters' personalities were already a bit dated when I began reading the series, the book still had that punch to the gut I remembered as a child. But that's when I realized I'd be doing myself a disservice if I were to choose it for redesign. In order to create good work, I need to be invested and interested, yet remain neutral enough to make smart decisions about my work. As a result, I felt I was too emotionally attached to Anastasia. A better decision would be to choose a book that I enjoyed, but was more inclined to be thoughtful about, perhaps even criticial.

Thus, A Wrinkle in Time.

COLLATING COVER DESIGNS // INITIAL RESEARCH

The cover of the version I owned as a child. Very pretty, not a lot of indication of the excitement of the book's plot. The interpretation of Meg Murray drove me crazy when I was eight, it still bothers me at 34. Where are her eyeballs?!

Better version — Charles Wallace has the right hair color now, hooray! — but again, Mrs. Whatsit in "her" centaur-Pegasus form. Calvin looks bored and confused. The stars are nice, but the mountains seem out of place.

Mrs. Whatsit searches for her misplaced arms among the mountains, while a floating Halloween mask admonishes the reader for looking upon his almighty snowglobe.

... yeah, it's pretty clear I'm not a fan of this cover. This is the version that my local libraries always seemed to have, back in the day.

The original cover. I like the color scheme quite a bit, and the Saul Bass-esque characters are interesting. Very elegant. The intersection and movement of the circular rings are definitely a better, clearer interpretation of the "tessarect." A wee bit disconcerning that Meg is nearly falling off the cover, though. Wonder if that's due to how her character's presented in the first chapter?

This is going to sound terrible, but it's my gut reaction: too sci-fi. Meg has lost her glasses somewhere. I'm guessing she's asking the crystal ball where they went. The color gradients are quite nice. The wee hint of Art Deco style at the bottom of the cover is bothering me, but I'm not sure why. Perhaps it looks unfinished?

I applaud the illustrator's/designer's effort here. Classy, simple. The two planets are well-rendered and I like the hint of the larger planet "melting" into space. Very unique interpretation. I think this would be a book I'd be proud to read in public; there's no assuming the audience is still young enough for YA lit. My only criticism is that there's now a lack of the humanity that's such a vital part of the story.

I have never seen this cover before. I like that someone made reference to the original cover with the concentric circles, with this being an anniversary version. I'm not too sure about the lens flare on the eye and the halftoning of the face, seems like the cover won't age well. Maybe a little too trendy? I'm a bit of a prude about giving the characters definite faces. I like when everyone has their own version of the character in their mind's eye.

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