The Canterville Ghost Book Cover

The Spanish publishing house, Austral, commissioned me to design the cover of Oscar Wilde's lighthearted ghost story, The Canterville Ghost, published together with a collection of his other works .

The cover had to appeal to young readers from the age of twelve, as well as adults, so the design maintains a bright fantastical feel.

Chains swing from the title lettering floating above the house in reference to a key plot point.  The simple illustrations with in the light effects are also inspired by several amusing situations and description in in the story.

The tale doesn't conform to the usual haunted house formula. Mr Otis and his ‘thoroughly modern’ American family move into Canterville Chase, despite warnings from its previous owner that the house is haunted.

However, rather than be scared by the ghost's antics the family refuses to be frightened and even tease the spirit, leaving the him feeling increasingly helpless and humiliated. 

At one point, on hearing clanking noises at night, Mr. Otis gets out of bed offers the ghost some lubricating oil for his chains.

The Final Artwork for the cover, El fantasma de Canterville y otros cuentos. 

The Final Artwork for the cover, El fantasma de Canterville y otros cuentos. 

My sketch progression, exploring layout options using the ghostly chains from the story.

My sketch progression, exploring layout options using the ghostly chains from the story.

The final printed cover. Image courtesy of Austral Publishing. Art Direction: Laura Comellas & Miriam Rodríguez Seoane

The final printed cover. Image courtesy of Austral Publishing. Art Direction: Laura Comellas & Miriam Rodríguez Seoane