Cover Corner: Brett Helquist

Cover Corner is a new area of the blog dedicated to the artists and designers behind those book covers we love. The ones that make us impulsively pick up and take a chance on a book we nothing about just because the cover promises something as fantastic inside as out. I’m always being seduced by book covers and I’ll admit I’m guilty of buying a book purely because I like the design of it.

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

Words cannot express how much I adore the book covers and internal illustrations that accompany these wonderful books!

A Series of Unfortunate Events is a 13 part book series so I’m only going to post my 2 absolute favourite covers up and a sample of the internal illustrations for you guys to check out – but they all deserve a look so make sure you head over to the amazingly talented Brett Helquist’s website to see the rest!

This particular hardcover collection was published by HarperCollins Children’s Books from 1999 onwards.

It’s pretty rare to see slightly older children’s books with such high quality illustrations (or any illustrations at all) but these really stand out from the crowd. The illustrations fit the tone of the books perfectly. There is a strong 19th Century, Edward Gory vibe going on and the stories themselves are written with such a fantastic dark humour that makes these books a great read for adults and children alike.

Brett Helquist’s illustrations have a wonderful Victorian-esque feel, with a contemporary, quirky edge to them.

The images on front of all 13 covers really draw your attention – perfect teasers of the many bizarre adventures that await you inside, that you cannot help but want to pick up these books to find out more! It’s fitting that most of the covers feature the Baudelaire children in some kind of danger as they do seem to get into an awful lot trouble!

The patterned borders and circular spot illustrations are a nice little touch and give the whole cover design an old-fashioned, almost toy theatre-like look. I especially love how Brett Helquist sticks to a limited colour palette – it gives these a far more sophisticated quality than you typically see with children’s book illustrations – and adds to the gloomy atmosphere of the books.

Inside, the black and white spot illustrations are just as lovely, with traditional cross hatching in place of shading.

Brett Helquist has captured the essence of the books beautifully and the Baudelaire children really come to life in the illustrations.

These were already unique books – but Snicket’s delightful stories are only made all the more special by Helquist’s talent and creative imagination.

Check out Lemony Snicket’s website here and the next time you visit the bookstore, be sure to give the Baudelaire’s unhappy tale a go.


One thought on “Cover Corner: Brett Helquist

  1. I love these illustrations 😀 The style and colour choice is perfect for the series and they’re so very quirky! I love quirky design!

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