Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors




I am double majoring in graphic design and English and in doing so, am interested in studying the view of book cover design in both disciplines. This is partly a continuation of an Honors contract I did with Bob Winward in Fall 2015 when I designed multiple book covers. In this contract, a major aspect that determined whether a cover design was successful or not was whether the design was "true" to the text in the book. A literary critic, as opposed to a graphic designer who creates the cover, is given a book (and therefore a cover) and thus the cover art influences their interpretation of the text. In this thesis, I try to reconcile the two disciplines and the different attitudes they have towards book cover design. I will start by discussing the process of creating cover art and what makes a successful book cover according to graphic designers in the field. I discuss my own experience designing book covers for an Honors contract and how being an English major influenced my design process. I then explore the topic from an English major' s perspective by analyzing four different editions of Jane Austen' s Sense and Sensibility. In doing so, I examine how different aspects from the text are shown in each book cover and question whether "truth" is as easy to judge as a literary critic as it is to judge as a graphic designer. I ultimately hope to give greater understanding to book cover design as both a literary critic and as a graphic designer, and question whether the two disciplines can be reconciled.



Faculty Mentor

Brian McCuskey

Departmental Honors Advisor

John McLaughlin