On the Roads

Dublin-based consultancy Conor & David has designed the covers for a beautiful new classic literature series from arts publisher Roads.

Roads Classics
Roads Classics

The series will initially launch with ten books by authors including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Emily Brontë, Virginia Woolf, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Soft pastel tones are used for the back covers – an antidote to the striking, mysterious images of the covers.

Roads Classics back covers
Roads Classics back covers

‘Each [cover] captures the essence of the book, rather than reproducing specific scenes or dramatic moments’, says the consultancy.

‘As classics, the books and associated imagery already exist in the public consciousness. It was important to step beyond this and to reflect a deeper understanding – one that is as connected to the contemporary era as it is to the author’s.

‘Rather than acting solely as windows onto the authors’ world, these books (and their covers) should be mirrors to our own.’

Madame Bovary
Madame Bovary

Conor & David created individual graphic icons for each of the book spines, such as this ominous fly for Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness:

Heart of Darkness
Heart of Darkness

For this enigmatic cover for Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, the consultancy looked to represent the sea that separates the Ramsey family at the centre of the tale from the beacon of light on the other side of the bay.

To the Lighthouse
To the Lighthouse

To create the image, they used layers of cut paper, rotating on a central axis.

Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground was given a spray paint makeover on a cover boasting an ominous, fuzzy black sphere to represent ‘the mounting mental paralysis and angst of Dostoyevsky’s antihero’, says Conor & David. The portentous dot also ‘echoes the dark underground cellar in which he finds himself venting his socio-political frustrations’, adds the consultancy.

Notes from Underground
Notes from Underground

The Roads Designer Classic series is published on 18 November with each book priced £9.99

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