Re-Covered Books: The Great Gatsby Winner Philipp Dornbierer

Philipp Dornbierer

Philipp Dornbierer

The first Re-Covered Books contest for The Great Gatsby has been a huge success and I have all of you to thank for it. There were a total of 72 entries from people across the globe, so you can imagine it was quite difficult to pick just one winner. There were a lot of themes that showed up throughout the entries. So, I thought I’d make a little note. In total, there were 15 entries that used fancy men, 11 used money related imagery, 8 used drinks, 7 used cities, 6 used eggs, 5 used tears, 5 used eyes, 4 used a car, and 3 used a lightbulb. The largest commonality was the use of green, which showed up, large or small, in 42 entries.

But of all the amazing entries there could only be one winner–and that was Philipp Dornbierer. Philipp is a Swiss illustrator and designer who’s entry you can see above. He was picked for a few reasons. First, his choice of color. The black of the cover with the accents of white and green are extremely haunting, but also do a nice job of referencing the colors of money without being overt about it.

Second, the image of Daisy, which is near perfect. In the book she’s described as a “girl whose disembodied face floated along the dark cornices and blinding signs.” This image completely embodies that line–but, that’s not all. He purposefully put Daisy on the front so her hair could represent the time period the book takes place. Finally, the eyes in her hair? What if I told you the two parts represented the two men in her life? Now imagine the two pieces as men looking down at her. See it? Just brilliant.

The final reason is the way he chose to represent the title of the book. At the end of the book, Gatsby is killed by Wilson, who shoots him in his pool. The way he’s rendered the font it’s like Gatsby floating dead in his pool, bobbing along the surface aimlessly.

Here are a few words that Philipp wrote about his entry:

While I was reminiscing about the story, I took notes of what I thought were important details. Most of them revealed too much information though. So I came up with the final concept, which gives a hint of the build-up, using the hairdo (which also leads to what time it takes place) to display the men in her life. I choose the cover to be black. It highlights the sadness and truth in the story. The second color is green, the color of money (at least dollars) which seems so important to them.

Congrats Philipp! You did a fantastic job, as did so many of you. I’ll be announcing the next book in the Re-Covered Books contest tomorrow, so be sure to come back and get your thinking caps on. Thanks to everyone who entered and, remember, if you didn’t win this time, there’s always next time.


12 Comments Re-Covered Books: The Great Gatsby Winner Philipp Dornbierer

  1. Trevor Basset February 1, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    Yes! Phil is the man and this design is killer, nice work all around.

  2. Callil February 1, 2011 at 10:18 AM

    Fantastic work! this is a great contest, can’t wait to see more.

  3. Carina February 1, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    Great choice! This was such a wonderfully-designed cover. I like the subtlety of the details that were included in the design. Very, very nice work.

  4. Jasonda February 1, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    All of the designs were awesome, but I have to admit I am thrilled you picked this one – it really grabbed me when I saw it for the first time. Only wish I could buy it on the book!

  5. Chelsey February 1, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    Perfect! This was by far my favorite. Wonderful work Phillipp!

    As a side note, this was a great contest idea. Theres so much literature to be inspired by, and I’m sure there will continue to be impressive results.

  6. Sarah February 1, 2011 at 4:59 PM

    Absolutely beautiful!

  7. MeghanW February 1, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    The eyes reminded me of the eye motif in the novel; the eyes of Eckleburg particularly.

  8. José Luis February 1, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    Awesome, what I like the most about it is its minimalist design which is always a plus. Nice contest, I wanted to do my own version but I hadn’t the time, maybe for the next Re-covered book contest.

  9. Annie Yi February 2, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    Amazing. Could we perhaps see some of the other submissions, the “runner-ups,” if you will? I was looking forward to seeing an array of interpretations of TGG!

  10. Julien Dalard February 7, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    Congratulations to Philipp Dornbierer : his illustration is really really good. Bravo !

    And thanks to Kitsune Noir for making those cool contests. They’re great opportunities for practice !

  11. Russell February 8, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    A nice illustration that in the absence of history would be make a splendid cover and based on craft alone makes a compelling case for itself as a winner. But for my liking, it strays too close to the existing and most common face-superimposed-over-city cover. There were so many other great entries that explored less-traveled lines of representation and reference for me to agree that this is the one most deserving.

  12. Gramsci March 19, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    I actually thought the title’s appearance was as much about the closing metaphor of the book as it was Gatsby being shot in the pool–namely boats beating on, “borne ceaselessly into the past.”

    Great choice of cover. A deserving winner!

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