Exercise – Juxtaposition

Before I dove head first into this exercise I wanted to be clear on what juxtaposition exactly meant, so I carried out a little research using the web. I found a couple of helpful websites;

literary devices.net

scene in a different light.com

From these websites and the exercise wording, I learned that juxtaposition is the act of placing two or more contrasting elements (objects) side-by-side, creating interest in a photograph and holding the viewers attention. This is why juxtaposition is used in images for book covers and magazine or newspaper illustrations.

Now I had learned the meaning of juxtaposition, it was time to tackle the exercise. I chose to take the still life approach, which was to re-create a suitable cover illustration using two or three relevant elements.

The book I have chosen is Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. I loved this book as a child and read it from cover to cover countless times, but the reason I chose it for this exercise is because I thought it would be interesting to see the results if the target audience were adults, as opposed to children. I think it’s a great book and should be appreciated by people of all ages, so see my results below.



Treasure Island3



The subjects I have chosen to use in my cover illustration are a compass, telescope, bottle of rum and a small map. All of these objects work together to tell a story (or narrative) for the person thinking of reading this book. The compass, telescope and map tell the reader that there is something to be found, the name of the book also tells the reader that this ‘something’ is more than likely to be treasure, and the bottle of rum could be an insight into the personality of the character or characters in the book.

The two objects I have focused on are the telescope and compass as I feel these objects link nicely together and are also the basis of the story line. I have included but not focused on the bottle of rum and map. The bottle of rum gives us an idea of his character, I’ve tried to place the objects so that it looks as if the main character has been sitting down, possibly planning his trip to find the treasure. I didn’t want the rum to be in focus as it plays a small part in the story line. The map however, plays a huge part in the story line and yet I haven’t focused on it. Why? I wanted there to be some mystery in the cover and I thought that if I focused on it as well as the telescope and compass, it might be less appealing to adults as it gives the story away slightly.

I have used an antique filter to give an aged effect to my cover and added an italic font in Photoshop to appeal to an adult audience.

Overall I am really pleased with my final cover illustration, It was fun to re-create a book I’d read so much as a child. I enjoyed every aspect of this exercise from finding all of the subjects, planning on where they would be in the image while making sure to leave space for the text to fit nicely. To choosing the font making sure it would compliment the illustration.


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