The Scandal of the Century - Book Cover Design

Historic Elegance for a Scandalous Tale

Client: Penguin Random House
Project: Book Cover Design for ‘The Scandal of the Century’ by Lisa Hilton

Scandal of the Century bookcover by JamieClarkeType

For the cover of Lisa Hilton’s "The Scandal of the Century," I aimed to encapsulate the spirit and essence of 17th-century England while paying homage to the pioneering writer, Aphra Behn.

The central design element is a meticulously crafted decorative 'A,' inspired by the ornate decorative styles of the period. The crossbar of the 'A' is uniquely represented by a quill pen, symbolising Behn’s influential role as a writer and the penmanship that defined her work.

The cover title and author name are set in my timeless typeface, Span, which complements the historical theme with its elegant and sculptural forms.

Design Elements:

  • Decorative 'A': The focal point of the cover, meticulously crafted to reflect the elaborate decorative styles of the 17th century.
  • Quill Pen: Incorporated as the crossbar of the 'A,' the quill symbolises the literary legacy of Aphra Behn, the book's central figure.
  • Historical Inspiration: The design draws from the rich visual culture of the era, including manuscript illumination and decorative arts.
  • Typography: The cover title and author name are set in my Span typeface, known for its timeless elegance and compatibility with both modern and historical themes.

Concept: The design pays homage to Aphra Behn, a writer, spy, power player, and lover, whose life and works are at the heart of Hilton's narrative. By integrating a quill pen into the decorative 'A,' the cover visually represents Behn’s multifaceted life and her defiance of societal norms.

Scandal of the Century Concept sketches by Jamie Clarke Type

Sketched concepts exploring various A motifs and styles.

The Scandal of the Century, Lisa Hilton, book cover design by Jamie Clarke Type

Skills & Tools:

Illustration: Hand-drawn and digitally refined to achieve an authentic yet contemporary look.
Adobe Creative Suite: Illustrator used to create the detailed illustration in vector format.

Explore more of my book cover designs and lettering projects here.

About the Book:

‘The Scandal of the Century’ explores the intriguing life of Aphra Behn, England's first professional female writer. Hilton’s compelling storytelling uncovers Behn’s roles as a writer, spy, power player, and lover, set against the backdrop of 17th-century England. This cover design aims to evoke the drama and historical richness of the period while celebrating Behn's groundbreaking contributions to literature and society.

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