The complete series of Harry Potter books are being released digitally for the first time ever later this month and needed some new artwork for the front cover. Olly Moss, graphic designer extraordinaire stepped up, and he’s done a fantastic job.
At first sight the covers hit you with just how beautiful they are, and you could be forgiven for stopping there and simply admiring them. However, on second look you can see each of them have a hidden image within the main image.
Moss said he was originally inspired by modernist graphic designers like Saul Bass, Paul Rand and, more recently, Jason Munn, and it shows in his work.
‘He’s a great gig poster designer. He’s the guy that really turned me on to the double image approach to things.
‘I like things to have more than one layer. The initial "oh that’s an attractive image" then it’s got a secondary reveal when you look closer. It’s something that I’ve always enjoyed doing.’
It’s a technique he’s been known for, especially with other works such as his famous Star Wars series of posters.
‘This is a world where things often seem quite mundane on the surface and then have a secondary reveal. I love coming up with those images because it makes me feel that no one’s done this before – no one’s seen something in this specific way.’
Moss really wanted to get the gig and pitched his heart out, producing four or five different approaches and sketching each book.
‘The next day I got on a plane to Comic-Con, crashed on a friend’s hotel room floor and figured I’d forget about it. Two days later I woke up really hungover – so, so hungover because we’d been in the hotel bar until four in the morning. I got that call that said I got the job and I lost my mind.’
Moss wanted to use vivid imagery from each story for the cover of each book, but needed to steer clear of giving away the plot.
‘For Half-Blood Prince I thought maybe I should have a Snape cover but then that could be a horrible spoiler. Really it’s the book; it’s Dumbledore and Harry fighting off the Inferi. That’s such a vibrant image from that book. Also it’s nice to get Dumbledore on a cover.’
As a big fan of the books since childhood, this was a labour of love for the artist.
‘I wouldn’t work on something that I didn’t really love or wasn’t important to me, because I wouldn’t do a good job.’
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