A Series of Unfortunate Events (Adult Covers) by Lemony Snicket
I remember reading an article a while back about the reason Bloomsbury released “adult” covers for Harry Potter over in England. It was due to customer demand that adult readers were a bit embarrassed to be seen reading “children’s books” around town. Thus, Bloomsbury released non-illustrated versions of the covers that had simple photographs and a more subdued color-palette.
So it got me thinking. What other popular children’s series would an adult be a bit embarrassed to be seen reading in public? And I immediately thought of Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events. Not only are they covered in (amazing) illustrations on the outside, but have the extra bonus of being a teeny tiny postcard-sized book, telling those on the subway that yes, you read children’s books, and yes, 200 regular-sized pages is where you max out.
With that in mind, I sought to redesign the series for the self-conscious adult. Using the brilliant photography of Rodney Smith, I ditched the orphans on the cover and instead brought the focus of each to that of the illusive Mr. Snicket, observing the events as they happen, later to be retold in his unique prose. His identity in the stories is always in question, as his relationship with the events is shrouded in mystery. Because of this, he remains hidden from view from the reader, even on the cover.