A Clockwork Orange

Competition Brief: A Clockwork Orange is as dazzling and inventive to new readers today as it was when it was first published half a century ago. The story is well known both in celluloid and print so it is essential to come at it from a fresh angle. Try to design a new cover for a new generation of readers, avoiding the obvious clichés. Originality is key. Response: In A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess presents a discussion on free will and moral choice: “Goodness is something chosen. When a man cannot choose he ceases to be a man... Is it better for a man to have chosen evil than to have good imposed upon him?” This discussion, central to the plot and themes of the book, provided the inspiration for this cover design. The under cover is divided into two halves – the top half highlights the ‘imposed goodness’ side of this discussion, whilst the bottom half is deliberately provocative and sexualised. The reader is presented with a choice; to either ‘censor’ the lower half using the slip cover provided, or to leave it exposed, risking causing offence when reading the book in public. It is intended that most would feel forced to censor the lower cover out of an embarrassed sense of social obligation, thereby reinforcing the book’s central discussion.

Team Credits

Sam Musgrave

  • Freelance Graphic Designer

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Sam Musgrave
Freelance Graphic Designer