A few months back, we wrote about a project called Recovering the Classics, which planned to crowdsource enticing new covers for 50 literary classics—great books like A Tale of Two Cities, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Frankenstein, and Pride and Prejudice. By now, the masses have had time to file an incredible array of creations.
"There are some very bold new entries for what we’d previously thought of as stuffy old books but now are in vivid color," one of the project’s founders Max Slavkin tells Co.Design. "Some are simple and some are intricate, some seem classic while others feel modern, but what has always been most exciting is the range of different styles and interpretations."
Indeed, while crowdsourcing is usually a scattershot approach to design, it’s the perfect model for modernizing a collection of old, freely sharable books. Just take these two schools of thought approaching Dracula. One is an innocuous man in a cloak. Another is two red dots that just yanks the chuckle straight from your gut.
Should either cover define Dracula forever? Probably not. But both are wonderful, valid renditions of cover design. In this sense, the effectiveness of crowdsourcing stems beyond mere consumer choice or taste. Each of these books has been scrutinized through a century-plus of literary criticism. They’re famous for their multifaceted stories, which drive vast interpretation and great philosophical debate. And at Recovering the Classics, "crowdsourcing" is really just a new-fangled term for igniting academic discussion and literary criticism.
As of today, the submission process is still open. And you can acquire any cover you like in eBook, print, or poster form, the proceeds of which go to supporting the project into the future.