20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Book Cover Design

the book cover


My first job was as a fishmonger. Awful as it sounds, it taught me how to find beauty in everything. I handled squid all the time, and the texture was always incredible. When I decided to redesign the cover for 20, 000 Leagues under the Sea, squid was the perfect medium.

Over the last year, the pieces came together. I photographed the squids, and the project began to take shape. I created several versions, which I brought to portfolio reviews and revised it.


This was one of my longest projects to complete. The first version was a vector rendition, which failed to capture the idea and intent. I decided to go with my original idea, which was to get actual squid tentacles and create the letters.

I photographed each letter individually. I combined all the photos into a single image, a process I started last year; the final image produced was closer to my intent. I took the piece to a variety of portfolio viewings, and the feedback helped solidify the idea and complete the digital typography.

A rough sketch of the concept
first rendition of the concept, digitally set white type on a black background.
rough photoshop version of the concept, created with squid tentacles.


I finished this almost three years after I first had my idea. I'm glad it took me so long to complete, it allowed me to see how an idea can progress over time and how my work and style has changed since I began.

I've always loved books, and the idea of making book covers, creating the type and ideas is something I've always wanted to do. Creating organic type was wonderful, and something I will incorporate into many other projects!

close up of the word sea
close up of a squid bit
full book cover