His Dark Materials
Book Cover Design
This project creates a modern minimalist identity for Philip Pullman’s best-selling classic book series, His Dark Materials. While Pullman did not write the books with a target audience in mind, they are primarily marketed as  young adult books. Combined with fantasy elements, the novels draw from a variety of disciplines, including concepts from physics, theology, and philosophy. These themes often appeal to older readers as well. These redesigns will catch the attention of adults who enjoyed the series as children and encourage them to revisit the books. The updated covers will also attract adults looking for a new series to enjoy.
The Golden Compass
This cover highlights the alethiometer, a compass like truth telling device that uses Dust, a mysterious elementary particle. Dust plays an important role through the three books collessing around all living things. Through The Golden Compass the main character, Lyra Belacqua, and her animal companion go on an adventure to rescue her friends, discover her parents, and explore the meaning of Dust with the alethiometer.
The Subtle Knife
The second book explores traveling between worlds, each with their own technology for interacting with Dust. This cover focuses on the subtle knife, a tool created to cut through the fabric between worlds and create portals. Through the book, Lyra and several others use the knife to travel between worlds during their journey.
The Amber Spyglass
This cover highlights the amber spyglass, a tool used to see Dust. Being able to visualize  Dust helps Lyra understand the true nature of the particles. At the end of the book, people from different worlds discover Dust connects  everything. Everyone returns to their own worlds and the portals are closed to prevent the loss of Dust.
Final Outcome:
By creating a collection of new designs for the His Dark Materials series, the covers appeal to an older audience who might appreciate more classic and modern covers as opposed to the realistic illustrations that adorn the covers for teens. The thin clean line illustrations tie together a variety of icons from the books with a consistent style. As a series, the books focus on fantasy elements as well as many complex ideas and themes which makes them an interesting read for a range of people and ages beyond the style of the covers currently.
Back to Top