Thursday, February 12, 2009

Harry Potter Redesign

Redesigned The Harry Potter book covers to look like classic Penguin Books.
Thanks everyone for your overwhelming interest in these!
Time will tell if anything happens with them...






275 comments:

1 – 200 of 275   Newer›   Newest»
Mom to 3 Monkeys said...

Oooh interesting! I like them. Ok so this series I've actually read and I love looking at cover artwork AFTER reading them to see the insight. I like what you've done.

frak said...

These are awesome!
Get them Published :)

Call Scholastic! :D

kara said...

this are gorgeous! i would buy them all if they were in print.

Bully said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I'm a big fan of that era of Penguin design; you've done the concept proud with these!

Nick said...

Wonderful... I won't buy it because It still is HP but they should be published... and for once it seems the book designer has actually read the books and not just the title (see Pratchett's american covers)

Anonymous said...

Inspiration maybe? http://www.flickr.com/photos/ollym/sets/72157612646893506/

M. S. Corley said...

I was inspired by Olly and Spacesick's current penguin projects, Olly with the videogames, and Spacesick with the movies you can read series. I for one just wanted to remake book covers.

slodwick said...

Absolutely lovely. Well-chosen imagery from each story.

Anonymous said...

Very nice, but presenting the rest of the title (after "Harry Potter") as a subtitle may be problematic. The type doesn't have to be the same size as "Harry Potter" but too small as is.

Anonymous said...

Most of Olly Moss's work is a ripoff from old graphic design books and old book covers so how can you ripoff a ripoff???/

Felipe Dário said...

They're lovely. I love modernism and I love Harry Potter.

It's not a rippoff, just a very good design exercise that Olly started.

Olly said...

These are great! I love how you added your own style into the mix (though I agree that the subtitles should be given more prominence).

Robin said...

These are DELIGHTFUL! Admittedly, some of the story is given away in some of them, like #3... But how could anyone resist the woodcut aesthetic? Great design work. (Found this via Book Design Review.)

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the subtitle comments, i like the sizing and placement. Give a retro printing feeling to me, true to penguin.

rachel said...

Really nice.

Anonymous said...

Cool design! If these were for sale, I would buy them. Really great job.

[ J ] said...

i would buy 'em too!!!

Wendy said...

OMG, ugly.

Ian Shimkoviak said...

what's ugly about it???????????????? It's beautiful without getting fancy. It's wonderful!

Shane Frohnapfel said...

I think the illustrations and color choices are phenomenal, and give off a nostalgiac feel to the covers, but I find the kerning in the type distracting. Some letters are appropriately kerned, while others are too far apart. Other than that, good work

freddygirl said...

these are totally fab!

Jen said...

I think they are very cool- subtle, simple, style!

Hilda said...

Got here through Joseph Sullivan's blog.

Love these! Simple and graphic and you got to the core of the books. And they really do look like Penguin classics! ;)

18november said...

Brilliant. I might just have to print them out and wrap it on the original books :p

NON-WORKINGMONKEY said...

Genius. Thank you for making me very happy.

thespectacleblog said...

These are cool. #7 is rather disturbing, though. I love the Hogwarts seal on #1.

Parker P

Anonymous said...

Absolutely enchanting. I would buy the whole set.

Silus Grok said...

You should consider prints — perhaps, even, some large 3 foot wide prints like Penguin did for a number of its titles.

Melissa said...

Wow, I would so buy these if they were available, even if they were just available as prints and not the whole book (call Scholastic!!!)

greg said...

Sweeeet!

Masterfully done, Sir. I'd buy 'em even though I have no interest in Harry Potter otherwise.

Samantha Smith said...

These are so beautiful! The Penguin design treatment/style really makes the Harry Potter stories more serious (less like children's stories)and more like well respected literature(classics). It's nice to see these designs instead of the current illustrations that try to fit too much information in and gold lettering that are the covers now.I dig your work. Very impressive. I'd like to see these in a store now. :D

noodle said...

so cool!

Anonymous said...

It's called "The Sorcerer's Stone" not Philosopher...

James Mackay said...

As pastiches they're fun. But they aren't Penguin Classics. They imitate Marber's 1962 grid, three bands of different width separated by rules, above an image. The Penguin Classics of the era used a simpler single band over the image, and Helvetica caps. This was Facetti's work. So were the Modern Classics, with, from the 60s into the 80s, a variety of grid formats. But your work, I repeat, folows the crime then fiction cover grid devised by Marber. www.penguincollectorssociety.org gives you a lead into other Penguin material.

Wendy said...

No... I don't want to bicker, just to let my opinion be known. I think I don't like the way he used black, and I don't like the style at all. I think covers of America editions're wonderful! And I feel stunned that you're so excited, Ian Shimkoviak. Hmm, I didn't meant to offend anybody, hope you all understand.

Tess Mattern said...

These are beautiful! I will be checking back frequently to find out when they are available as prints!

Anonymous said...

Love these! I found your blog through Design Work Life, and I'm now a loyal subscriber--and just like everyone else, I'll be checking back to buy the prints as soon as they're available

M. S. Corley said...

James Mackay, I did not intend that by saying these look like ‘Penguin Classics’ they followed the Classic format used, but simply classic as a well-known type of older penguin books.
I’m aware that there were many grid formats, as I own the ‘Penguin by Design’ book which is where I first learned this. I chose the crime format because I liked the layout most for what I wanted to create. These are entirely and intentionally pastiches.

Lauren Bailey said...

Finally! These books were in dire need of a complete re-design. I already own the series (though the covers are hidden away), but as soon as these covers come out (and I hope they do!) I'll be re-buying every damn book.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Shane. Beautiful work, just please correct the letter spacing.

Cheers

Johnny Walker said...

Fantastic! I have some reservations about The Deathly Hallows cover... but otherwise very nicely done!

Hana said...

i just had a heart attack because of you.

thanks a a lot.

bklynharuspex said...

We liked these a lot at Readerville. See http://www.readerville.com/index.php/journal/.

mnemosyne's afterthought said...

These are fabulous. I also want to purchase a set.

jonna said...

Those are seriously great designs. Really nice job. They have that amazing old Penguin book flair. If they were available I would be forced to purchase books that I already own.

Anonymous said...

ahh, brilliant!!!

T cup said...

wow wow wow excellent, i love harry and i just love the classic penguin cover

Miriam Martincic said...

Great concept. The simplified forms help to relate these to larger themes in literature. Rather than just the basalisk and Griffendor's sword, you also have the knight and the dragon, the menace and victory.

I love the psychological feel of the Deathly Hallows cover; that image is the essence of "you know who" and how his undoing was internal and very much his own. In general, excellent choice of subject matter.

I don't feel the covers give anything away either. Unless, I'd already read the third book I wouldn't know that you'd pictured the time turner.

And a response to the comment about the first book's title: the original British edition of was called the "Philosopher's Stone." The American version (for illiterate boneheads who don't want to mix intellect with magic) was called "The Sorcerer's Stone." I'm glad you went with the British title.

dave said...

These are just luscious!

Diana said...

It's called "The Sorcerer's Stone" not Philosopher...

It's both actually. In Europe it was released as 'The Philosopher's Stone' but in America it became 'The Sorcerer's Stone'.

Rachel said...

well done!

Miriam Martincic said...

Thanks for writing back! It's nice to meet you, in that virtual web sort of way.

Deb said...

Bravo, these covers are gorgeous - I'm also loving the re-designed look for the Lemony Snicket series :)

Jan said...

These would be perfect as covers for a Kindle edition of the Harry Potter series.

Anna said...

it might have been nice for you to credit olly moss somewhere for your inspiration, but i do agree that they look great. www.ollymoss.com

Lauren Bailey said...

Anna. "Good artists copy, great artists steal." --Olly Moss

M. S. Corley said...

If you notice on the 7th comment, I said that Olly and Spacesick were my inspiration...

Lauren Bailey said...

No matter the inspiration, these designs are lovely and will hopefully be published!!

Jen said...

These are amazing! The New Yorker's Book Bench blog linked me here in their 'In the News' segments. Love them all especially the "Azkaban" cover.

Joel said...

These are fantastic! I would buy all seven again to have these covers on them! They make you think about each book in a different light, like seeing it again for the first time. Absolutely marvelous!

Andrew Glazebrook said...

AWESOME work !!!!!!!!

contradictoire said...

I absolutely adore these!

Jessica Hagy said...

I would buy all of these.

VirginiaWestfield said...

I'm not a HP fan, but these covers are just RIGHT. they hit the mark. i love the retro-ness.
well done.

jolene said...

these are awesome. i'd buy the whole series. waiting for the prints...

essie said...

these are brilliant. i love them.

Anonymous said...

how much will they be in print?

M. S. Corley said...

The cost will be determined by how much the printing is plus a poster tube, and approximate shipping. I should know in the next couple days.

[ J ] said...

oh man, i keep checking back on this post 'cause i'm super-interesting to hear what the cost will turn out to be.

any idea what size you think the covers will be?

i have the UK books with the "adult" covers on them... i think the size of my books are slightly different from editions.

M. S. Corley said...

"any idea what size you think the covers will be?"

Unfortunately I won't be printing them sized to be placed on your HP books, I imagine there would be more legalities with that than just printing art prints.

I will be providing poster prints, I'm going to have two options, one where you can buy all covers on one poster, or you can get each cover individually.

Anonymous said...

I have the "adult" version of the Bloomsbury HP books.
It's strange that Scholastic didn't publish "adult" versions of the books like Bloomsbury.
So, go on, call them!

nora said...

I'm glad these will be prints! I'll certainly be in line for one (if not more...)

The Compulsive Reader said...

These are awesome--I love the retro vibe.

Alan said...

These are brilliant. I never much cared for the book cover design of the american editions, and the british versions are a little better. But these are simple, clean, and concise visual interpretations of the material. Well done! I posted a blurb about your project on my site to spread the love as well.

Rachel said...

Oh, these are sublime! Although the American covers were fine when I was 10, they never felt like good, strong covers to me.

But your covers look both modern and contemporary. They scream 20th century and I love that it removed the HP books from the icky GrandPre mould.

Can't wait for the prints!

Rahul said...

Very impressive conceptual re-designs of Harry potter book.

Great ones.

Anonymous said...

I don't really get the 5th one... is that the egg in which time passed in the Department of Mystification ?

jimkastkeat said...

Love it. These should definitely be on the books.

em_dash said...

These are AMAZING! I love everything about them. I agree with Frak... Get them published!!!

Rachel B. said...

Hey, you should contact Raincoast too. They publish the editions in Canada, and they've been using the covers from Bloomsbury's UK editions. However, Raincoast & Bloombury parted ways last year, and it is very possible that they might be open to rebranding the books, in particular the adult editions. Most of the previous Raincoast adult eds have gone out of print -- the time is ripe for a fresh reprint with a great new look!

Ian said...

These are fantastic! Great job.

Garrett said...

Solid design-- I love it. My favorite is the 4th cover.... the maze is great.

C. David Gravett said...

High Schoolers across the country in 50 years will groan when their English teacher passes out these books :)

marineko said...

I LOVE these! I already own the UK first editions, but I would definitely buy the whole series again if these were published!

Anonymous said...

gag
doesn't go with the stories at all

Hot Fuzz said...

gorgeous

Anonymous said...

Muy buenas la tapas.Lastima que aca sale diferente

Anonymous said...

Saul?

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arst said...

i'll definitely buy this if it's going to be published-!

Half Blood Prince said...

Those covers look great! I really like them.

pericat said...

These are perfect, both in terms of the HP books and the Penguin style. You're a bloody genius.

Kat said...

It's called "The Sorcerer's Stone" not Philosopher...Eh, wrong. The British version of the book is indeed called HP and the Philosopher's Stone. The American version is Sorcerer's.

BEAUTIFUL covers. I have sent them into MuggleNet.com, the web's leading Harry Potter website. Check it out! You might just get on there!

Anonymous said...

hell no way!

M. S. Corley said...

Kat,
Thanks for sending them into MuggleNet.com, it would be cool if they went up there.

And thanks everyone for the kind words.

Anonymous said...

I really like them as well, but it's not "Philosopher's stone" it's "Sorcerer's Stone".. Otherwise good job..

Anonymous said...

Comment #97, are you a troll or just ignorant?

Amazing work - I was linked here through the redesigned Snicket covers, but the whole project is inspired.

morph said...

hey

i just had to turn this amazing work into a real book for my personal use:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrgann/sets/72157617610195626/

Pretty Dead Trees said...

Fantastic!

Anonymous said...

These are stunning... I especially love the choice of subject for book 7...

I'm sorry, just reading these comments... did somebody really just post "It's sorcerer's stone, not philosopher's!" That just made my day.

well done on these pieces!

ana said...

perfectos. me encantaron

frl.zucker said...

SO GOOD!

i would totally buy them even if i already own all harry potter books in german and english. get them published!!!

triestine said...

Wendy, if you don't want to bicker or offend anyone, it would help to have a more eloquent and reasoned comment than "OMG ugly".

Anonymous said...

looks so good.
Is clear the big influence of Saul Bass.

Anonymous said...

Any updates on this?! I really hope they get published!

M. S. Corley said...

No new news about getting them actually published... I've done all I that I can think to do.

Something cool though, if you go to this years Harry Potter Azkatraz show in San Francisco (google it) a set of prints will be in the gallery show, and auctioned off with the proceeds going to a children's charity. Cool stuff.

Maybe someone influential in the book industry will see them and help get them published!

it managed services said...

I was completely blown away, very nice designs.

GE Cafe said...

I would love these on my DVDs of the films. They's miles beyond the crap that the movies come with.

Anonymous said...

Just fantastic! They look like covers of my parents' old paperback books :-D. Reminds me a bit of my early childhood.

Rachel said...

I would TOTALLY buy the entire series if they looked like this!!

Leebeloola said...

That looks gorgeous. They are so iconic and descriptive, much better at conveing the subject of the story then the curent covers.

Anonymous said...

Yeh they’re aesthetically brilliant but the essence of Harry potter is lost. It was originally a children’s book for children. Yes it has grown into an international all age’s phenomenon but it seems that when the adults became involved the book itself was lost in the advertising etc. and therefore I don’t believe these covers suit the book, as beautiful as they are. I’m glad the book is appealing to different age groups but it should still essentially be a child’s book and not adjusted to the tastes of an adult generation whose sole intentions are to keep them in pristine condition in the hope that in later years they can be soled at a profit. That is not what Harry potter is about

Angela Gidden said...

Very Penguin, very nostalgic, incredible empathy towards our established and much loved publisher.
Just stumbled over your re-design of the Harry Potter books - design genius and totally collectable. love the retro graphic and print style.

Kah Woei said...

Hmm ... the designs are interesting, but if I'd seen them without the words, I'd never think of the Harry Potter books. My personal vote still goes for the Bloomsbury children's version. Those feel just right.

Hermione said...

These are great! I love the symbolism. Harry Potter is the best, I saw the movie like the day it came out. This is my review;

http://theguidetoteens.blogspot.com/2009/07/wizards-and-chum.html

golden said...

Dear brother,
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Rania said...

Absolutely lovely..nice post..

Anonymous said...

Can you help me ?
What represents the last cover ? (Harry potter and the deathly hallows) I can't remember or is it your imagination ? I don't know ! Is Harry the baby ?

Anonymous said...

OOH i forgot i like it !
These are wonderful !
Nice job

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laura nery said...

gorgeous, bur some historys are given away D: couldn't be the real covers, for those who haven't read the books, bur just perfect to ilustrate then *_*

Santoz said...

Realy awesome

Anonymous said...

I HAVE AN IDEA! Make them into DUST COVERS so instead, people who already have the Harry Potter series can use it as there own covers for their HP books!

Indi said...

I love these! Very nice job. I do agree with the poster with the dust cover idea. I would definately by them...

Black said...

I just came across your blog and I am pleasantly surprised. These are seriously amazing! So much better, than the original covers. I really hope that some day the HP are reprinted with these covers. I'd buy them. I think the DH is particularly neat. Good luck!

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Milly said...

I adore these

DrKeithCurrie said...


Harry potter a great name to every one. I like most to read harry potter and movie also enjoyable. Thanks J.K Rowling.

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Anonymous said...

i HAVE l the books but i dont understand the picture on book six can some one please explain it to me? btw im 14 and single

Anonymous said...

dont worry i understand now its the inferi hands and water and the bottem of the boat

M. S. Corley said...

Ah glad you figured it out :)

Anonymous said...

M.S.,
You did a clever job and the exercise is a great one. Pay no mind to those negative comments. I have never understood why people find it necessary to state negatives for no other benefit than hearing their opinion stated to themselves.

“Envy is the art of counting the other fellow's blessings instead of your own.”
Harold Coffin

Keep growing. No artist has ever created anything original except God.

- oomingmak

M. S. Corley said...

Oomingmak, thank you very much.

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just stumbled upon this. these are are wonderful!

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TJ Corruther said...

The penguin design is absolutely awesome

grace said...

I love your designs!!! I grew up loving the harry potter books, but I've always disliked the book art. I wish I could replace my current harry potter collection with your book designs!

The Mental Dump Site™ said...

Your designs are amazing! They're simple and the covers show the highlight of the story. Are the books available in these covers?

pariuri said...

Harry Poter is the best

Anonymous said...

Brilliant knockoffs of early 60s graphic design. For that reason, they kind of depress me. They look like the kind of shopworn, yellowing paperbacks I'd have found in an used bookshop as a teenager.

Alaina Buzas said...

Bloomsbury is about to release an official redesign, but I think your covers did a much better job of capturing each story.

I like these so much I included them in my latest blog post (http://tobeshelved.blogspot.com/2010/04/feeling-horrible-for-harry.html).

Keep up the great work!

M. S. Corley said...

Alaina,

I appreciate commenting about my version of the covers on your blog.

I saw these new Bloomsbury covers today on a couple different sites and was surprised about the ammount of people comparing mine to the official paperbacks that will be relased. While I can't say mine are better, it is a nice feeling to see people are sill intersted in these over a year later.

I dream that someday Scholastic in the U.S. would publish mine in paperback. Of course I would probably have to drop the Marber grid which is Penguin's property, but I know I could keep the same overall feel. Lofty dreams, yes.

teste said...

Very interesting this covers.I will buy them all tomorow when I go to the library.

Pariuri Online said...

Very well written article for those thinking about Harry Poter. Thanks!

Franny said...

will you ever be selling prints of these? or did you already and I missed it?

M. S. Corley said...

I am not legally allowed to sell prints of these

Logo Design said...

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Keep growing. No artist has ever created anything original except God. I agree with that!!!!!

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I love Harry Potter and you Portray Harry Porter series redesign very nicely. I'm impressed.

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I wish you could put nav links for each section of the huge list. Otherwise, terrific.

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Papaz büyüsü said...

These are awesome!
Get them Published :)

Call Scholastic! :D

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Anna M Blanch said...

Very creative. I found you through
(http://st-eutychus.com/2010/harry-potter-and-the-penguin-classic/) and was very interested in the way in which you worked to represent the stories! Very insightful. Thanks for putting these out there. I've been thinking about the way in which cover design and art alongside text in books (i'd be interested in your take - (http://itiablog.wordpress.com/2010/07/06/are-books-beautiful-anymore/)

Ps: i don't normally include links in comments but I hope that you do come and joint the conversation!

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