The new cover look for the Delirium series is so jaw-droppingly beautiful it might make you cry. There are those books that get one book cover design and that’s the only cover look you’ll ever see. . . and then there’s Delirium. The first book in the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver started out with one look before it was published, got a new design for the hardcover and was changed again for the paperback and now it’s getting a completely new design! We figured the best people to ask about why and how the covers got changed were the book designer and the cover artist so we got in touch with Erin Fitzsimmons and Jeff Huang!
Designer Erin Fitzsimmons on the new direction
I have had the unique privilege (and challenge) of designing the cover for Delirium four times in my six years at Harper.
Each time our approach has been a little different, and every time we’ve come away with a cover that felt successful. But, this time, I think we’ve finally nailed it!
When we began the redesign process, I was nervous to involve myself in the design at all, just because of how many covers I’d produced for this book over the years (hundreds would be my safe estimate!). In order to bring fresh eyes to the project, I hired a number of very talented designers to take free reign and come up with cover concepts. While the comps they sent in were all great covers in their own right, ultimately, none of them felt perfect for this series.
I decided that I would turn to the people who knew these books best: our editorial, marketing, sales, and publicity teams. We brainstormed and discussed everything we knew about the books, what we associated with them, and how we felt after reading them. We kept coming back to love as the central concept, but we weren’t sure how to show love in a way that didn’t evoke romance, because the Delirium series is so much more than that.
The marketing team shared graphics they created for the “Join the Resistance” campaign for the original series. Some featured a heart with a target, and others used the taglines: Dare to Love, Dare to Resist, Dare to Be Free. We all felt that these concepts could be combined in a strong way for the new covers.
It started as a very simple idea, but at the same time tapped into exactly what these books are really about: the danger of loving, and the fight for freedom. I created a concept board with very rough thumbnails, and sent them to our incredible artist, Jeff Huang. He came back with a first round that blew our minds:
Don’t ask me how Jeff came up with that brilliance from my dinky sketches! I’m still in awe.
In the end, we decided that, while awesome, the laser beams were too violent, and that we didn’t need them to show the concept. I’ll let Jeff tell you a bit more about how he took our rough ideas and created the fantastic cover artwork!
Artist Jeff Huang on his inspirations
The heart shape idea started to really resonate with me as I began working on the concepts. Once I came up with the idea of the fragmented heart, I knew that it could be the foundation across the trilogy’s covers. To marry Erin’s initial concept ideas, I decided that the physical makeup of the heart for the first book could be feathers. This notion was solidly secured when I saw the tagline, “Dare to Love.” I enveloped the feathers around the heart as if they were hugging it, wrapping it and protecting it.
For Pandemonium, “Dare to Resist” is portrayed by the falling leaves desperately holding onto their initial heart shape.
And, finally, for Requiem, “Dare to Be Free” is portrayed by the bursting effect of the rocks, symbolizing the heart being set free.
Erin Fitzsimmons on the novellas design
We couldn’t be happier with the covers, and I am so thankful that this process became a true collaboration between our marketing team, and the brilliance of our artist bringing our concepts to life.
When it came time to design the Delirium Stories and the e-novella covers, I had always wanted to design covers that fit together, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity! I sent Jeff a very rough sketch of my idea, and he ran with it.
And here are all of the covers together!
You are definitely going to want to own these gorgeous paperbacks when they go on sale on May 17th! Go ahead and pre-order your copies from one of the retailers below or from your local indie bookstore!
What do you think of the new look of the Delirium series? Share your cover design thoughts with us in the comments below!