This book cover design is the result of a competition run by Murdoch Books for a new cover design for the popular “Girl with the dragon tattoo” series, written by Steig Larsson.    The concept for this design involved finding a way to display the multiple layers of the story.  The dragon represented the story of the titular character, but displayed as a “window” through which you can see the back-story of the missing girl running through a beech forest.  The red/yellow/orange foreground was painted specifically for the design, to imply fire and anger.  The design of the dragon – rather than using a typical Asian dragon design – was inspired by Nordic dragon designs, which linked with the Scandinavian origin of the story.

This design was awarded “Runner-up” in the competition.

BenjaminJohnston_GWDTcomp 1

Final entered design. Acrylic, charcoal and digital.

Working concepts and the layers of artwork.