Cat's Cradle Book Jacket
INSTRUCTOR:  Jennifer Stern
INSTITUTION:  Tyler School of Art & Architecture
"Cat's Cradle" is a satirical novel by Kurt Vonnegut, published in 1963. The story is narrated by a writer named John, who becomes fascinated by the life of a deceased scientist named Felix Hoenikker, known as the father of the atomic bomb. The novel explores themes of science, religion, and technology. 
For this book jacket, I aimed to emphasize typography and pique curiosity about the book's content. I incorporated ashes to symbolize the bomb's aftermath, and negative space to highlight the title. My intention was to create a simplistic yet impactful cover design.
The first step was sketches. My goal for these were to be super typographically driven while still conveying the main themes of the story. There was a lot of experimenting with how type and image could interact. I felt that using the ash had the most potential because it allowed the two to play with each other while also symbolizing a key plot device of the book.

I opted for photography to craft my image, affording me greater control over the composition. I tore up used scraps of paper to gather the ash and began burning (kids, don't try this at home)! Then I arranged the material on a white sheet of paper, experimenting with carving out the letters. I loved how hands on this process was, allowing me to play with various letter formations. Finally, I took pictures and imported them into Photoshop for final edits and adjustments.
Once finalized my cover I began designing the rest of the book jacket. I continued the use of ash imagery to look as if it were spilling onto the pages of the book. My color palette is black and white with a sky blue accent. The blue was chosen to reflect the sky from which the dust is starting to cloud. It also hints at one of the key elements of the book: "ice-nine", a substance that could be used to freeze all water on earth.