Thursday, 13 June 2013

Ladies,Gentlemen. It's been an Honour...

3rd year Honours Project
Ian M Banks Culture Novel Book covers.

 I have always been a fan Ian Banks' work, Particularly his science fiction books and thought it would be interesting to illustrate pieces of "genre" fiction without resorting to the stereotypical imagery associated with, in this case the science fiction genre (spaceships,planets,aliens etc).
Having read most of Banks'  "Culture" series I thought that would put me in a good position when it came to designing a series of covers.This was true to a certain extent,though sometimes when illustrating a subject,the less you know the better. I found that a single phrase is more helpful than 500 pages of description.

One of the main characters in this
story is a Dyslexic teenager hence the
slightly run together title and the mis-copying
on the paper plane.

Reading just the dust jacket can help
sometimes,but not always,often focusing on
one aspect of the story,which does not help
when one is trying to give the potential reader
a visual clue to the books entire contents.

All of my images were taken
straight from my sketchbook,
except this one which was a purely
digital composition,drawing this
many perfect circles is beyond most people,I find.

My sketchbook work is typically small in size
and so needs to be scanned at a relatively
high resolution of 600dpi (dots per inch).
It is then transferred to Adobe Illustrator
software to be vectorised,coloured etc.
This has the effect of making my work
appear more graphic than illustrated
good thing or bad thing?

This is probably my favourite
cover. The story concerns a
particularly brutal regime that
decides its leaders based on what
seems similar to the game RISK
but with many more bells and
whistles,and very brutal forfiets
if one loses.
Hence the slash of black and the
eviscerated dice image.

The Denouement to this story
takes place on a wintry forested
planet,and I like the image too.

A story of a many-layered world
one in which a pivotal passage
in the book takes place on an
airship.It took a while before I liked
the look of this cover,now I like it a

Tunnels and hiding and identity
where my inspirations for
this cover. A character who can
change his appearance at will,
and a desperate supercomputer
on a collision course.
The book is a lot better than my description

With this cover I tried to convey
the notion that to really hurt
someone,you target the object of
their love.

The weakest cover
Planets and chords?
This cover had
me stumped from the start,and
I really should have just omitted
it from the final body of work

A week after I proposed my Honour's project, the author Ian Banks announced he had terminal cancer. Shortly after I completed this project he passed away. For what it's worth, I would like to dedicate this project to his memory.

Ed Allen.
June 2013