the Restaurant at the End of the Universe Redesign

This is a project from a Digital Art and Design Course

After exploring a lot of different sketches, I had a very difficult time making a decision on which designs to pursue. I knew I wanted the cover to be quirky and to really jump off the page, I also really wanted to explore gestalt principles.

My first instinct was to explore the more image heavy ideas that I had sketched out, I thought that using images of space would be really impactful on the cover. I was having a hard time seeing how these ideas would be inline with the gestalt principles. So I started to look around for some inspiration.

All the book covers that seemed to move me the most were very simple designs, using some bold colors and simple illustrations. The designs seemed to showcase the typography and focused on the clarity of the image. Rather than trying to explain many small details about the book the imagery just focused on simple metaphors. This makes sense because when someone is browsing for these books, the goal is to capture their attention and give them a reason to open the book. Auditing these designs got me thinking in “broad strokes”, I’m not trying to explain the whole story to someone, I am just trying to give them the general flavor of the book.

This worked perfectly for one of the sketches I was working on that uses the gestalt principle similarity. In this design showing some neatly organized rows of food to represent the restaurant but in one spot there will be a planet with rings around it. I think this very simple yet silly idea gives you a nice flavor of what’s to come when you open the book. Douglas Adams book is very quirky/silly I think this wacky book cover design will capture that. I also think this principle works well for the book because it really captures this idea of uniqueness, and Douglas Adams style of writing and comedy is very unique.

I did a version using images of hamburgers as well but it just didn’t feel as successful. I think I prefer this illustration style icons because they are so easy to recognize from far away. I feel like the image of the hamburger captures too much detail and when they are placed in these little rows it becomes hard to see.

I wanted the typography to be friendly and inviting, but also continuing the theme of quirky. So pairing a very proper script font (baskerville) with something more modern and stable (proxima nova) I think gave it a really nice contrasting kind of silly feeling to it.


Overall, I am pretty happy with this design for the book cover. I think it does a good job of showing the potential reader that this is a quirky, silly, one-of-a-kind space adventure that involves a restaurant and leaves room to create a ton of consistency for the rest of the books in the series. In other words, the “rows” theme could be reapplied successfully to all the Hitchhikers Guide book series. I hope this cover peaks the interest of someone who might want to read more about it.

The original and my version side by side