The New York Triology | Skillshare Projects

Katie Cullinan

Graphic Designer



The New York Triology

ENTRY 1: december 7

The book I have chosen is The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster.  It is a collection of three short stories: City of Glass (1985), Ghosts (1986) and The Locked Room (1986).  In all three stories the protagonists are writers who have become involved in uncovering some kind of mystery and how this affects them.  It has been described as "meta-detective-fiction", "anti-detective fiction", and "mysteries about mysteries".  

Below are some of the covers I found, many of them have some reference to New York City.  The first is the copy of the book that I have and the last was designed by comic book illustrator Art Spiegelman.


ENTRY 2: december 10

After reading some reviews, interpretations of the stories and my notes I have made a list of possible themes/ideas to inspire the cover design

  • writing
  • confusion
  • identity
  • NYC streets, maps
  • mystery, maze
  • detective novels

One of the things that interested me most about these stories was the shifting identities of the main characters and the narrator. For instance in "City of Glass" the story is told in third person and follows Daniel Quinn, who writes under the pseudonym William Wilson. He is hired by Peter Stillman to keep him safe from his father, also named Peter Stillman.  But Peter hires Daniel believing that he the detective "Paul Auster" who Daniel searches for but instead he finds the author "Paul Auster" who is writing a book about Don Quixote, all in a story written by the real Paul Auster.  The narrater is then introduced at the end as a friend of the auther Paul Auster who finds Daneil Quinn's notebook.  

So, somehow using this complex network of characters and names to inspire the cover interests me most.  I made a list of words related to "maze" and "confusion"

  • labyrinth
  • convolution
  • bewilderment
  • entanglement
  • intricacy
  • jungle
  • network
  • web
  • perplexity
  • meander


  • character
  • personality
  • singularity
  • existence
  • self
  • integrity

And some images


ENTRY 3: december 18

A design playing off the idea of a maze. I thought it also kind of ended up looking like a newpaper and I wanted to use the three colors for the "trilogy" aspect. Too abstract? difficult to read?

This also got me thinking about the NYC skyline and grid of streets and maybe doing a kind of distorted depiction of one of those.



ENTRY 4: december 19




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