Rebecca // Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca // Daphne du Maurier  - student project

Rebecca // Daphne du Maurier  - image 1 - student project

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier is a really beautifully written mystery/suspense/drama/thriller published in the late 1930's. It begins with the narrator, a young lady, of no means, who soon begins a whirlwind romance with a wealthy widower while they are on holiday in Monte Carlo. They are quickly wed and return to his mansion, which is still filled with the memory of his recently deceased wife, Rebecca. The narrator quickly realizes that she has signed up to be constantly measured against the memory of this magnificent, talented and beautiful woman, and her new life turns from a dream into a nightmare. 

Rebecca // Daphne du Maurier  - image 2 - student project

Not all the words I circled actually made it to where the design is at the moment but I think they would be fun directions to explore in the future. I mostly went with a ivy/rhododendron covered "M" thinking of the mansion, named Manderley, where most of the story takes place. I wanted the vines to be a little wild, since the opening passage is the narrator describing a dream she had of Manderley, abandoned and growing wild with thistle and ivy and rhododendron.

I also was fixated on the idea of having the silhouette of a woman at the door of Manderley, which to me would represent the memory of Rebecca and how she casts a dark shadow over the woman who has come to take her place as the lady of the house. It could also represent the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, who seems to have taken her loyalty to Rebecca a step too far and constantly torments her new mistress.

Rebecca // Daphne du Maurier  - image 3 - student project

My first sketches were a bit to literal in my interpretation of a house and didn't really read like an "M" anymore.

Rebecca // Daphne du Maurier  - image 4 - student project

Rebecca // Daphne du Maurier  - image 5 - student project

In my final sketches I ended up keeping the viney-ness of the outside of the house and using the center space in the M as a window or door of sorts through which you can see the shadow of a mysterious figure. I like how that little figure can be so tiny but is still a strong focal point, since it is at the very center of a symmetrical design. 

The flourishes surrounding the M are also an extension of the curly vines but have more wildness to their shapes. 

Rebecca // Daphne du Maurier  - image 6 - student project

I settled on the red/dark red color scheme having been inspired by the crimson red of the cover of the copy of Rebecca that I have at home. I think it would also be really awesome to have the blue green printed as gold on a clothbound hard cover.

In later iterations I'd probably try a few different color schemes and maybe a different treatment (weight, shape) of the viney strokes.

Would appreciate any feedback if anyone is still out there!