Some of you might remember my post on the creative duo known as Kai & Sunny, two of my favorite Illustrators and Designers. Recently I finished the novel 'Number 9 Dream' by David Mitchell, the cover of which designed by Kai & Sunny. I originally picked up the book purely based on the cover design because lets face it we all judge a book by its cover, as we should, and I am very glad I did so in this instance.
Now there's no need to worry, I'm not turning my blog into a source for book reviews. I've decided to dedicate a post to this book because it's one of the few books in which I feel the cover art perfectly matches the content. Most book covers I feel miss the mark when it comes to capturing the essence of the story but this is not the case with 'Number 9 Dream'.
The story is of a young man and his journey to Tokyo Japan in search of the father who abandoned him as a child. Having never lived in the city before he is very unfamiliar with how things work within the social order. Needless to say he stumbles into many little scenarios that make the book an interesting read (lets face it, it's how all stories go. If they didn't no one would be interested in them).
I believe the cover perfectly illustrates the vast size of the city and just how difficult the task is ahead of the central character. Not only do Kai & Sunny use the proportion and angles of the buildings to emphasize this but also the very creative design of the title. Hundreds of little dots form the title, which (I believe) represents the millions of people that live in Tokyo, going about their daily lives. Indicating that the main characters mission will be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
The use of colour and general style of the illustration is also very interesting as it is clearly linked to the style of writing used by Mitchell within the story. The modern and almost techno appearance links with several topics highlighted in the story, one of which includes Video (or computer) Games.
I am curious as to whether Kai & Sunny were given a copy of the book to read before designing the cover, or if the process was similar to my own experiences where the majority of information comes from the books synopsis. Perhaps they were lucky enough to have the opportunity to sit down and discuss the novel with the author themselves (since it would seem a strong friendship has formed between them). Either way I think Kai & Sunny did a fantastic job with the cover design and would say that this is what book design should be about; truly capturing the feel of the story as well as the viewers eye from a bookshelf.
While searching for an image of the books cover I stumbled across the below designs. I'm not sure who the designers are and take no credit myself for their work but felt they were interesting designs that came close to touching on what the book is about, however fell down when compared to Kai & Sunny's excellent design.