This project was originally completed for a competition organized by Varrak, the publisher of the Estonian translations of the Harry Potter series. Until now, their books have just used the American book covers translated into Estonian. Varrak decided that this would no longer do and that they should republish the whole series with uniquely Estonian covers. As the winner of the competition, I get to create the covers for all the books, some of which have already been published.
To propose a redesign of the Estonian version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and to submit a plan for the other 6 books in the series. The covers should appeal both to children and adults.
I went for a more minimal approach that fits better with the Nordic visual practices than the original covers and most other international designs. Recently, Harry Potter books fully illustrated by Jim Kay have been published which means the regular Estonian version needs to stick out on bookshelves in order to sell well.
I believe the visual contrast between a more traditionally illustrated book cover and a more minimal one allows my design to stand out, especially considering that the previous version followed a more detailed approach as well.
Harry’s round glasses and a lightning bolt scar are his most iconic features. I use them throughout the series as a central element as they are the first things a person sees. The glasses directly represent the title of the specific book. (Spoilers ahead!) In the first book, they frame the texture of the stone; in the Chamber of Secrets, the glasses morph into a snake and are filled with its skin, much like the chamber itself; in the Prisoner of Azkaban, the glasses become the bars behind which Sirius in his human and animagus forms is locked.
The colors of the books are significant as well. Red is the color of the sorcerer’s stone, green is the color of the basilisk, and blue is the color of freedom.
Each book features important elements from the story, some repeat as they have significance throughout the series.
Out of the 50 people that submitted proposals, I was declared the winner by Varrak and J.K. Rowling's agency, The Blair Partnership. So far, the first two books in the series have been published, with the rest soon to follow.