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Monday, March 01, 2010

Jim Tierney covers Jules Verne

After my first blog post, my classmate Alex recommended I take a look at Jim Tierney's redesigned covers for Jules Verne's books. I think Tierney's work is absolutely lovely and really fun. In fact, I liked these covers so much I've been putting this entry on hold since reading Alex's comment so I could talk to Tierney about his work.

I contacted Tierney via e-mail, and now I am happy to present a blog entry dedicated to Jim Tierney's Jules Verne covers.

Tierney, a soon-to-be graduate and current illustration student at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, redesigned the Jules Verne covers for his senior thesis. He created lovely jackets and designed the covers beneath them for "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", "From the Earth to the Moon", "Around the World in 80 Days" and "Journey to the Center of the Earth".

MORE from my talk to Tierney and a video demonstration of his covers after the jump.

The video he created (below) illustrates how they work really well. I suggest watching this short clip to really understand and appreciate the covers.

Jules Verne cover designs by Jim Tierney from Jim Tierney on Vimeo.

"I chose to re-design the Jules Verne books, not only because he is a favorite author of mine (which he is), but because I feel that his writing lends itself well to decorative illustration. He has a very naive and kooky style of writing, filled with aristocratic victorian imagery," Tierney said.

Tierney also said that the reading level of the books influenced his redesigns.

"Since the books are essentially meant for young adults, the stories are all pretty surface-level, without much deep metaphorical content. This really left a lot of freedom to interpret the feel of the books, and use some great old-fashioned imagery," Tierney said.

But Tierney cleverly combined this great "old-fashioned imagery" with more interactive elements to create truly unique book covers. For example, "From the Earth to the Moon" features a pull-tab and "Around the World in 80 Days" has a fun pin wheel. In an age when rumors of the death of print at the hands of newer technology seem to constantly be circulating, it is really great to see designs like these released, especially when focused at a younger reading crowd.

Now that his Jules Verne project is over, Tierney said he is busy with smaller projects and just looking forward to the future.

"I graduate in May, which I absolutely can't wait for.  After graduation, hopefully I can find work as a book designer at a publishing company (which would be my dream job)," Tierney said.

To see more of Tierney's work, visit his Web site at, or follow his blog at


Marisha Pie said...

Those are amazing! They make me want to read all of those books, and I never wanted to do that before, haha

rscottmanley said...

These covers are brilliant--much better than the cover of my paperback copy!

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