I haven’t yet seen the new movie by Walter Salles, but I’ve been assigning a book jacket project for Jack Kerouac’s On the Road to my Illustration Design class at Art Center for the past six or seven years. It's a great book that has had some sad covers issued in the last fifty-five years. At first, I was surprised how few students had already read it, but then I thought that if they don’t learn anything else from me, I’ll have introduced them to Kerouac, and the class will have that going for it.
The assignment is to pick an idea or theme from the book and communicate it in a way that feels right for the story. Research into Kerouac’s life and the way America looked right after World War II is a big part of the project. You’d be surprised how many 22-year olds don’t know suitcases didn’t always have wheels on them.
Most of these covers were designed by students about halfway through their studies at Art Center, some have graduated, some are still in school. I’ve added links to their websites if you’d like to see what they are up to now.
Li Kai Lai