Penguin – In Cold Blood

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Now that I have chosen Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood as the book cover I am going to design for this project and done some research into the original artwork and other personal covers I am a fan of, it is time to find out the key concepts of the book. Unfortunately due to other deadlines I won’t have enough time to read the entire book in two weeks, but there are other methods that I can utilise in order to deconstruct it.

To kick start my research I read a general synopses of the plot of the book and what it is about, along with some segments from the actual text itself. What was immediately interesting was the role that Capote plays in telling the story. As it is a non-fiction novel you can recognise the angle and focus of Capote’s writing. As the author he has so much power in regards to the way that the events and people are perceived, and his obsession with the two killers fascinated me. He didn’t just dismiss them as deranged killers, instead he tried to form relationships with them to truly understand why they would have done this.

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Another¬†interesting factor to take into consideration arose after watching the film ‘Capote’, which focuses on Capote’s experiences and relationship with the two killers while writing his book. The emotional toll that the events took on him (especially witnessing the hanging) was detrimental, and an angle that I think would make for an interesting¬†cover concept.

Looking past the author, the actual events that took place in that small town where horrifying. According to Capote The Clutter family were adored by many throughout the community and could be seen to have a sovereign status (much like Capote does as the author). One of the residents said “Of all the people in the world, the Clutters were the least likely to be murdered.” This shows the impact that these gruesome murders had on the community. No one could have expected it to happen, and the fact that the killers were from the town created an atmosphere of mistrust in everyone. I think the fact that anyone could be a killer capable of such brutality is a terrifying thought that is provoked in the book. What is clear from Capote’s writing is that the town would never be the same again.

This research shows that there are plenty of routes that I could go down, and themes that I can explore. I am still unsure as to what to focus on, but I know that it would unwise to just create one cover that looks at a single theme. Instead I am going to do some exploration with different styles and try and find something that works best. Obviously the goal of the book is to reflect its contents visually, but if I can find a way to tie in some of the key themes of the book as well it will definitely increase its quality.

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