You don’t normally think of bright, bold colors and cheery prints when you think of Virginia Woolf. Most of her novels inspire cover designs that are more subdued and serious. But when Penguin U.K. Creative Director Suzanne Dean contacted Aino-Maija Metsola to design the Woolf covers for the Vintage Classics reissue this fall, the resulting covers were bold and dazzling.
Metsola is a Helsinki-based illustrator and designer for Marimekko, a Finnish textile company known for their striking use of colors and patterns. For the reissue of Woolf’s novels, Metsola wanted the cover designs to capture the unique atmosphere and motif of each text. Similarly to when designing for the textile company, she used watercolors as her medium to create bold, yet fluid, imagery that left the covers open to interpretation for each reader to personalize.
“When I design a book cover, I start with someone else’s text and build on it, but when I design textiles, I start usually with my own experiences, feelings, and thoughts,” Metsola says. “But as the projects proceed, both the book cover design and the textiles become personal for me, so in that way, they are in the end similar.”
Be sure to pick up your copies of the Virginia Woolf paperback reissues from Vintage Classics when they are published on October 6.