William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564, and died on the same date in 1616. While it’s been more than 400 years since the playwright brought his works into the world, his legacy lasts today in the form of 38 plays.
To celebrate this legacy, Eurydyka Kata and Rafał Szczawiński of design studio re:design decided to purchase a complete collection of Shakespeare plays for their library. The problem was they couldn’t find anything they particularly liked. What’s a design duo to do? They decided to create their own, resulting in The Shakespeare Project series, 38 illustrated book covers and a poster summarizing all the plays Shakespeare wrote, including genre, dates of composition, and symbolic illustrations.
“We felt that the big anniversary of one of the greatest writers demanded celebrating it the best way we can: with graphic design. Also, we felt there were not enough impressive collections of all Shakespeare’s works on the market so we tried to create one that we’d really like to see published,” Kata and Szczawiński say.
The ambitious redesign project was a labor of design love—and a massive refresher in the wordsmith’s works.
“To design the books, we reread almost everything by Shakespeare (all dramas, a lot of poetry) and analyzed it to come up with symbols that would best illustrate the stories of the plays. Then we used those icons together with a different color scheme for each play to create a series of designs. Finally, we used the icons again in a poster showing Shakespeare’s work in a nutshell,” Kata and Szczawiński say.
The result is a clean and modern interpretation of his works, with pieces that are as lovely individually as they are as a full collection.
See the complete works and read more about the process here.