Italo Calvino opens The Baron in the Trees with a flourish. This novel is about a young Italian nobleman — twelve on that fateful day in 1767 — who climbs into the trees as an act of rebellion and never comes down to earth again, not even for an instant. He lives the rest of his full life in the branches: hunting, learning, taking care of his estate, conducting his love affairs and his correspondence with the great minds of the Enlightenment with equal enthusiasm, and finally, at the end of his life, stepping not to earth but to a higher plane.
The most common cover for this novel includes a tree. I wanted to take this theme to the next level and superimpose tree parts with imagery from the story. The front cover has a tree ring layered with a thumbprint to symbolize the main character going to live in the trees to protect his individuality. The back cover has a dead leaf spliced with a map of Paris; the city signifies the death of a lifelong romance for the character. The use of white space creates a feeling of enlightenment, which is a theme in the story. The red color reflects the nobility of the character and the yellow that of autumn leaves, which symbolizes the life passing in the treetops.
With the book redesign, the book tripled sales and introduced a new generation of readers to the whimsical world of Italo Calvino.