William Wharton’s seminal novel Birdy will be re-released on Thursday 2nd August with an illustrated cover created by German graphic designer, artist and Central St. Martin’s Student, Henrike Dreier.
Whilst Birdy is arguably Wharton’s most celebrated novel – as echoed by its incarnation as an award-winning Hollywood movie – it fell out of print years previously. Now, on Thursday, the novel will be re-released by Harper Collins imprint, The Friday Project.
Cover designer Henrike Dreier specialises in illustration and Interactive Art, and is currently studying Graphic Design at Central St Martins. A competition was set by the publisher to find a cover illustrator for the book’s release, which Dreier undertook – and won – as a distraction over the Christmas holidays. Dreier is excited by the prospect that her illustration will help to connect Wharton’s famed work to a new contemporary audience.
Dreier drew inspiration from the novel’s harrowing flight-based plot and the symbolism of feathers within the work’s broader context. On the delicate nature of her illustration, Dreier says: “I think the delicateness for the design came from a certain fragility the character radiates in the book and as Wharton often touches on heavy topics such as war, trauma and loss I was seeking to create something ‘neutral’ in a way, something that wouldn’t distract from the content, that would be beautiful yet discreet”.
Telling the tale of a torrid friendship marked by the Vietnam War, Birdy is a classic novel well worth a read. Rich in symbolism and poignant themes, Birdy is highly deserved of a re-release and the attention of the contemporary audience. Dreier’s illustration aptly reflects the delicate mental state of the Birdy’s protagonists, whilst also imbuing the new addition with a suitably contemporary visual representation. The re-released new edition of Birdy will be available online via The Friday Project website.
For more of Henrike Dreier’s work, visit her portfolio at http://henrikedreier.com/.
The new edition of Birdy will be available from The Friday Project online from 2nd August 2012.
WORDS: Alice Giorgina McConnell
IMAGES: Courtesy of LightBrigade PR and Henrike Dreier