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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: Book Re-Design

 

fear and loathing in las vegas

Book redesign focused on typography and visual hierarchy.

Timeline

3 Weeks

DESIGN CHALLENGE

Reimagine a book through an original cover and typesetting for both print and digital publications.

book 

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas 
by Hunter S. Thompson


print

choosing a book

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a novel by Hunter S. Thompson about a journalist and his lawyer who go to Las Vegas to report on a motorcycle race but get repeatedly sidetracked by their constant use of recreational drugs. The book captures the spirit of the 1960s counterculture and ruminates on the failure of the "American Dream" due to greed and consumerism. I chose to reimagine Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas because its blend of reality and fantasy lends itself to subjective and imaginative interpretation.

early sketches & initial digital iterations

For the cover page, I wanted something bold and thematic. I thought about symbolism in the novel: blurred reality lines, Las Vegas itself, and drugs. I did some quick sketches to visualize these themes on paper: one where flying bats make up part of the title, one featuring the famous Las Vegas sign, and one in which the title is blood squirting out from a syringe. I moved forward with the bat motif because it was more abstract and subtle than the other two. Early drafts of the cover concept can be seen below.

Sketch2.png

final version

The sunglasses are filled with bat-like shapes. The abstractness is intentional, and references the opening scene in the novel when the protagonist sees a sky full of bats. Whether or not the bats are real, or just a figment of a drug-induced hallucination, is up for interpretation.

The sunglasses are filled with bat-like shapes. The abstractness is intentional, and references the opening scene in the novel when the protagonist sees a sky full of bats. Whether or not the bats are real, or just a figment of a drug-induced hallucination, is up for interpretation.

I carried over the bright primary colors from the cover page onto the table of contents. This spread was particularly challenging because the chapter titles are very long. I paid strict attention to alignment and type styles in order to create a clear visual hierarchy and flow.

I carried over the bright primary colors from the cover page onto the table of contents. This spread was particularly challenging because the chapter titles are very long. I paid strict attention to alignment and type styles in order to create a clear visual hierarchy and flow.

The chapter opener presents Samuel Johnson's quote (which also appears in the novel) on the monstrosities people will commit to avoid suffering.

The chapter opener presents Samuel Johnson's quote (which also appears in the novel) on the monstrosities people will commit to avoid suffering.

digital

The digital version (designed for iPad) is meant to mirror the print publication, with size and alignment adjusted accordingly.
Taking advantage of its digital form, the cover is animated. You can click through below: