Hilton Design


Book Cover



A blurb is a short promotional piece accompanying a creative work. It may be written by the author or publisher or quote praise from others. Blurbs were originally printed on the back or rear dust-jacket of a book, and are now found on DVD and video cases, web portals, and news websites. A blurb may introduce a newspaper, magazine feature story or in this case a small bit of information about a book.

For the back of my book I will need what they call a “blurb”. I had to search the web to find a brief description of the story, I found a few little paragraphs on wikipedia and amazon which were:

  • Before the Steven Spielberg film, before the National Theatre production, there was the classic children’s novel…

    In the deadly chaos of the First World War, one horse witnesses the reality of battle from both sides of the trenches. Bombarded by artillery, with bullets knocking riders from his back, Joey tells a powerful story of the truest friendships surviving in terrible times. One horse has the seen the best and the worst of humanity. The power of war and the beauty of peace. This is his story.

    War Horse was adapted by Steven Spielberg as a major motion picture with Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, and Benedict Cumberbatch. The National Theatre production opened in 2007 and has enjoyed successful runs in the West End and on Broadway. is a story of universal suffering for a universal audience by a writer who ‘has the happy knack of speaking to both child and adult readers’.

    Michael Morpurgo has written more than one hundred books for children and won the Whitbread Award, the Smarties Award, the Circle of Gold Award, the Children’s Book Award and has been short-listed for the Carnegie Medal four times. –

  • Young Albert enlists to serve in World War I after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry. Albert’s hopeful journey takes him out of England and to the front lines as the war rages on. –
  • In 1914, Joey, a young farm horse, is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western Front. With his officer, he charges towards the enemy, witnessing the horror of the frontline. But even in the desolation of the trenches, Joey’s courage touches the soldiers around him.

    “Not since Black Beauty has there been a book like this one. War Horse also tells the plight of the soldiers, both German and English and the horrors that they went through. It made me cry but the ending made me smile as well. I think everyone should read it and Anna Sewell would have been proud of it!” T.J. Measures (Amazon reviewer) –

I only wanted to say a little about the story so I decided to cut down the blurb from amazon and decided to use this paragraph below.

“In the deadly chaos of the First World War, one horse witnesses the reality of battle from both sides of the trenches. Bombarded by artillery, with bullets knocking riders from his back, Joey tells a powerful story of the truest friendships surviving in terrible times. One horse has the seen the best and the worst of humanity. The power of war and the beauty of peace. This is his story.”

The reason why I want a small piece was because I want to have  a bit of space on my cover, spine and back. I want to go for a Limited Edition version of the book which I will hopefully get printed on leather for my portfolio version.


Research into book jackets


The dust jacket (sometimes book jacket, dust wrapper or dust cover) of a book is the detachable outer cover, usually made of paper and printed with text and illustrations. This outer cover has folded flaps that hold it to the front and back book covers. Often the back panel or flaps are printed with biographical information about the author, a summary of the book from the publisher (known as a blurb), and/or critical praise from celebrities or authorities in the book’s subject area. In addition to its promotional role, the dust jacket protects the book covers from damage. However, since it is itself relatively fragile, and since dust jackets have practical, aesthetic, and sometimes financial value, the jacket may in turn be wrapped in another jacket, usually transparent, especially if the book is a library volume. –

Even though I won’t be creating a dust jacket as such now, it was a consideration at the beginning of the assignment. I’ve had a look at a few book covers that I like and have noticed a few things that I may need to include on my very own book cover.


From looking at some of these examples I have seen that you should include a barcode somewhere on the book, It’s not necessarily to include the author’s name on the spine. Also the text down the spine must be going into the direction top to bottom instead of going bottom to top of the book, this is because that when the book is placed on a table with the front cover upwards, the title is correctly oriented left-to-right on the spine. It also may be wise to include the distributers information at the bottom of the back cover incase people have any enquiries. I love the Gone Girl cover as that it doesn’t have a blurb on the back which is very different to other books seeing as most books have blurbs on the back. Instead of a blurb they put a small list review points on the back to show many big companies and reviewers like the book.

This has been a good exercise and has told me to try and tell a little bit of the book in one picture to try and get the audience to pick up the book and read it. The type must fit the story and should look very professional and not all over the place… unless its aimed at an audience for maybe fifteen and below.

Different Covers of the book War Horse


In this blog I am going to be looking at a few different versions of the book cover for War Horse and I am going to be pointing out a few things I like and dislike. The aim of this assignment is to create something different which would stand out from all the other versions of the book, it is also being judged on the Typography so that is a key to remember.

Here are all the official versions I could find. I found in every single cover there was always an image that signified a horse in a very simple way but then didn’t show so much any evidence that the book was actually about the war especially in the two top left ones although the Type face they used does kind of remind me of the war.

From the three below I find that they used a great choice in colour to kind of show colours that resembled the war and also they had characters who also gave away it was about the war.

To the left the cover is a bit hard to read as that the text seems to have been placed on top of some kind of watercolour piece. In the middle piece shows a picture from the movie of the young man in army uniform with his long lost friend Joey (the horse). I find that that version kind of ruins the ending of the book *SPOILER ALERT* where they finally come back together once the war is over and go back to their home and family nice and peacefully into the sunset.

War_Horse BC2

My least favourite from the lot is the one above, I believe it does not signify the Great War so much and looks like a book just about a horse. The type is awful and looks as if it should be from a computer game like “World of warcraft”. Also you can see where the designer has tried to blend the horse into the background with an outer glow but just does not look at all professional.

Looking at old covers has given me a clear view on how my piece should maybe look like. I don’t particularly like any of them really apart from the one below just because the colours are simple and it gives clear signifiers, not too clear to give away the whole story.

War_Horse BC3


Research into War Horse


War Horse is a children’s novel by Michael Morpurgo. It was first published in Great Britain by Kaye & Ward in 1982. The story recounts the experiences of Joey, a horse purchased by the Army for service in World War I France and the attempts of young Albert, his previous owner, to bring him safely home. It formed the basis of both an award winning play (2007) and an acclaimed film (2011). –

Michael Morpurgo who had written the book got inspired to write this book from after meeting a World War I veteran, Wilfred Ellis, who drank in his local pub at Iddesleigh and who had been in the Devon Yeomanry working with horses. Morpurgo began to think of telling a story of the universal suffering of the Great War through an animal’s viewpoint, but was unsure that he could do it. He also met another villager, Captain Budgett, who had been in the cavalry in the Great War, and a third villager, Albert Weeks, who remembered the Army coming to the village to buy horses. He figured to give it a go seeing the War through a horses point of view seeing as they were in such great demand at the time and where magnificent animals.

From doing a little bit of research into the book/ film without ruining it for tomorrow I have a clear understanding on what happens, pretty much by the sounds of it a young boy takes great interest in a horse before the first world war, his father manages to buy the horse to get more of an income to help keep their farm. The young lad Albert then goes on to train the horse without any knowledge of how to do so. Unfortunately the Great War was a foot and the army needed horses, the father didn’t see much extra income from owning the horse and decides individually to sell it to the army, though Albert wasn’t old enough to join the army with the horse he was determined to join soon and be reconnected to his horse that he named Joey. The book tells a great story of two different viewpoints of the Great War with what it sounds like a hell of a load of heartbreaks and has a justifying ending to it.

I’m desperately in need to watch the film to get a visual image on how it should look though I do have to make it different and stand out.

Introduction to the Brief (Book Cover)


Being one of the shortest assignments given to me so far I have been given the task of creating a new and completely different book cover for the book known as War Horse by Michael MorpurgoI feel the need to watch the film and read a little of the book as that I have never seen or read it.

I am required to Design a book cover for the allocated book given to me, Design the front, spine and back cover (No found images). I will be assessed in most detail on my type-setting in conjunction with my imagery imagery. I am also expected to keep a blog journal of my work in progress and show how my research into book covers has inspired or informed my own design. Finally I will have to present the cover on a book.

learning outcomes include:

  • Explored and understood the practical constraints of a design brief.
  • Produced and evaluated solutions to a design brief that encompass set criteria.
  • Explored and analysed the connotations of typeface choice and be able to justify decisions across a wide range of applications.

I’m glad with the book that I got given as that it’s something new for me, I’ve heard some great reviews on it and am excited to get stuck in. I think this assignment will really test my skills with time keeping and will keep me extremely busy for the next few days.

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