This is a new and improved version of my previous Being John Malkovich jacket, originally a Graphic Design II class assignment in Spring 2014.
In that assignment, my class and I had to watch an independent movie and create a book cover based upon the film and its themes. Previous classes used films like Videodrome and My Own Private Idaho as their individual bases.
A major theme in Malkovich is controlling others to get a better life, as characters in the movie literally do with John Malkovich in the film. This control is represented on the cover with a large golden X spanning the whole cover, a large golden marionette controller. Furthermore, the light puppet strings are producing a gold light and they resemble UFO tractor beams. All of this is occurring over an unfeeling, gray background.
My previous attempt at the cover (the last two images in this sequence) wasn't as good as this one due to the three-dimensional Xes on the cover of being poor quality; part of the assignment was to have the cover more involving and interactive than other book covers.
As years passed, I ended being disappointed with how I handled that and ended doing a milder version (with the marionette controller appearing to come towards the audience).
We weren't allowed to do an obvious image for the assignment and I didn't want to do the obvious later in life either. But I kept on returning to the image of the marionette controller no matter what.
So I ended up creating a large marionette controller coming for the audience onto a single, large spread across the cover. This idea came from Chip Kidd's cover for The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami.