I love a good cover version. Twist and Shout by the Beatles. Light my Fire by Mae West. Tragedy by Same Difference.
In publishing it’s a bit easier to ‘make a book your own.’ You don’t have to go to the trouble of actually re-writing the bugger, just pop it in a new jacket and hey-presto! An instantly relevant modern classic.
Beshart, an Antwerp based graphic design studio have taken this on board and dispensed with the cumbersome, word filled books themselves. Their project DoeDeMee collects 100 brand new covers of classic books as part of a campaign to ‘raise awareness for the problem of illiteracy’.
Below are a selection of the children’s covers, designed by artists from all over the world. You can see more of their re-covered books here, and help by buying posters and a catalogue.
NORTHERN LIGHTS BY PHILIP PULLMAN
Cover by Hamish Steelefrom
”The idea of adapting books into my style really appeals to me (I’d love to adapt a novel into a graphic novel one day) but the image I made is unlike anything I’ve drawn before. Northern Lights has so many amazing and varied ideas, it was really tricky choosing just one moment or character that could do the entire book justice. By drawing the character of Pan, I was able to not only represent one of my favourite characters, but also the fantastical idea of Daemons and their transformations which hopefully helps establish the world to the reader.”
“My interpretation of William Golding’s classic novel Lord of the Flies, aims to capture the overwhelming sense of unfamiliarity that the boys encounter after being left stranded on the tropical island, and ultimately the impending difficulties they are yet to overcome.”
THE BFG BY ROALD DAHL
Cover by Inge Lavrijsen
Inge Lavrijsen is an illustrator, paper artist and graphic designer who lives in Antwerp and works at Beshart since 2008. She loves prints & patterns, everything about paper & paper art, old furniture & new shoes, white flowers & black coffee, children & children’s books, sweet stories & funny characters, all cats & a few dogs, everything about Japan and Django Reinhardt on Sundays.
“I’m thrilled to have been given the opportunity to create my poster and hereby honouring this splendid Dahl masterpiece.
As a daughter of a printer I acquired at a fairly young age a love for paper (it’s texture and smell!), and the many creative ways of using it. Building up an illustration as a complete set in a cardboard box, the aim is to end up with a composition in which the shadow is nearly equally important as the actual characters.”
Cover by Medhi Dewalle
“I chose Huckleberry Finn because Tom Sawyer was a friend of mine when I was a child. Seriously, this book brings together all the important values to me in life, such as friendship, adventure, nature, and free spirit against the choices imposed by adults. I see more clearly the political views in it now that I’m an adult. But I prefer to keep in mind the spirit of escape and freedom that brought this book. I let down my usual cartoon style to fit more with the beautiful pictures of nature that Mark Twain painted in my mind with his words. I draw it with a free spirit and had a little touch of melancholia and nostalgia with the faded colours and old style title. But I also had a touch of light to show the hope and freedom that will always come under our feet.”