Folio Society – War Horse Covers Research


Combining elements of both war and the animal protagonist. While this image conveys the themes of the book quite well I would say that it doesn’t really engage the viewer and is not a very interesting image. However, the high contrast between text and image is a nice touch and something to consider.


This is an absolutely beautiful cover design by Rae Smith. The hand rendering with charcoal has a feeling of reportage about it, as though it could have been hastily drawn by a soldier on the front. The harsh markmaking in the background allude to the war setting, giveing the sense of explosion, shrapnel and a fractured environment. This is a really strong image that gets the theme of the across really well. The use of limited colour with the touches of red in the poppies make this a really pleasing oucome. I feel that a lot of inspiration can be taken from this.


A cover based on the film production. Whilst I am trying to sterr clear of the movie in terms of my own outcomes I feel that this image portrays the connection between Joey and Albert, an overarching theme of the story, really well.


I’m quite fond of the sepia colour used in this design as it harks back to the photography of the era. I do feel that overall though this image is somewhat lacking in terms of visually interesting elements.


While not a particularly interesting design this cover is quite reminiscent of older book illustrations and is most likely a repetition of an interior illustration. Perhaps looking into styles that were prevalent during the books setting could provide an interesting direction.


I have included this image in my research as more of a ‘what not to do’ rather than inspiration. While themetaically containing elements relating to the story it doesn’t capture the tone at all. And although the vibrancy would give it good shelf presence and appeal to children, it clashing colours are horrific.


A couple of highly graphic designs for movie posters that I feel could be applied just as well to a book cover. Both relate to the themes of the story by including a gun and a horse. I have already toyed with an idea similar to the first by incorporating the horse into the gun. The second is an interesting idea with the use of silhouetes showing the similarity between the gun handle and horse. I think the most striking aspect of both id the use of silhouettes and the inclusion of splash marks, giving the designs just that little bit more aesthetically. I feel that this could be a really strong direction to take.


Finally, a design based on Rae Smiths previous cover, taking the silhouette of her horse drawing and filling it with poppies. The use of poppies could be something to consider as they are and iconic image when thinking of the First World War. The idea of using the horse silhouette as a vessel for other imagery is a nice touch and something i could definitely consider.


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