Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Great Book Cover Project

After Hungarian designer & illustrator Levente Szabo graduated from Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in 2006, he set up shop as a freelance designer. He soon grew weary with indecisive clients and shifted his focus toward illustration and the concepting of storyboard artwork for the movie and advertising industries in Budapest. It is easy to see how all of this past training and diligent hard work has informed so much of his current book and poster work.
     Last year, Szabo's life took a big turn when he moved to Brussels with his girlfriend so she could begin a Master's degree program at the Royal Conservatory. This new move presented Szabo with some time to pursue a life-long dream of designing book covers for some of his favorite novels. He soon began a self-directed assignment he calls The Great Book Cover Project, where he can display his strong design and illustrations skills in addition to his clever conceptual work. His first cover project of Kafka works was created in Photoshop and included hand lettering. The last image above illustrates some of his initial concepts for each book. 

Szabo considers Arthur Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey to be one of the best sci-fi novels ever written and his design represents a very elegant solution. He chose to use the iconic monolith on both the dust jacket and the hard cover in two starkly contrasting designs, and managed to bridge the time frame between the two. The text block on the back cover fittingly mimics the monolith structure.


Stephen King's Misery was part of Szabo's Great Book Cover Project #4. He chose to design two different versions and encourages others to weigh in with their preferences on his Behance site. Szabo states "the text in the red version is an actual quotation of the novel Paul is writing within the novel, I only changed it to place the words 'Stephen' and 'King" in it."

Seen above are two different versions of Lord of the Flies. Below are examples of Lolita, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and The Old Man and the Sea.

Cover designs for Brave New World and I, Robot. Below are many examples of of his initial working concepts for these and other covers.

Levente Szabo has all the markings of a great book cover designer; a rare combination of diversified talents including conceptual design, illustration and typography. I hope his dream of producing The Great Book Cover Project results in a great dream career of designing books. He certainly deserves this. Find much more of his work here and here.


  1. Wonderful work by Szabo. I included one of his images in my post from last week on 'Lolita' covers (

    Thanks Jennifer!

  2. No way! How timely we are!

    Thanks for the mention Shelley. It gave me a good opportunity to check out your wonderful site again. I really need to get out more ; )

  3. Those are some great looking covers! I'm sure a lot of authors would like your work gracing their Amazon books.

  4. Some of those covers are really great! I especially like the Lolita cover.


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