Society of the Spectacle

Book Cover Design 

For my design class, we were given the assignment of making a book cover for The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord. 

We had three weeks to create an original design and were critiqued by our peers and lecturers while being given lectures about composition and typography.

Throughout the process, three different concepts were made. After choosing a single concept, we were to make three different iterations of it.

Original Cover 

The Society of the Spectacle was published in 1967. It is a work of philosophy and Marxist critical theory by Guy Debord. The book explains a variety of concepts about our society from consumerism to conformity. 

A wonderful crash course of the book can be seen here.

Three Different Concepts

This phone concept was made to remind the reader that this book was made in the '60s but is still relevant today. I wanted to replace the cord of the phone with a person to show the eventual attachment that people have with their phones in our current time period.

After reading this book, I found a lot of similarities in the concept of celebrities with the movie Perfect Blue. I wanted to incorporate the hand in the palm pose that the movie had to showcase how celebrities are easily puppeteered and even desired. 

Inspired by Hong Kong's famous neon signs, I wanted to show the distinction of bright and flashy advertising and us as consumers. The contrast of the black/gray with the neon colors of the title is supposed to capture that concept. 

In the end, the phone concept was chosen. The original phone design seemed too playful and lighthearted. Therefore, I made several iterations of the concept to envoke a similar tone to the book.

The final design was the one on the right end.

The orange-yellow shirt became a strong focal point that helped the design's composition.