Book Cover Design Project #6 – In The Belly Of The Beast.


Today’s book cover design uses the phrase “in the belly of the beast”. It was thought of yesterday as Colleen and I entered our local Wal-Mart which is similar to entering the Cantina bar in Star Wars Episode 4. It’s just a mad house and filled with seedy characters. As we entered we simultaneously said, “now we’re in the belly of the beast.”

I did a little research and it is quite obvious that the phrase originates as a tribute to the biblical story of Jonah and the whale (or giant fish). In a nut shell, Jonah defies God’s request to travel to the evil city of Nineveh to preach to the people. Jonah runs from this responsibility by jumping a ship heading in the opposite direction. Soon the sea’s become violent and a storm surrounds the ship and Jonah realizes that he must jump ship to save the crew and passengers. At Jonah’s request the crew throws him over board and the storm quickly dissipates and the seas calm. Jonah is consumed by a giant fish (or whale) and spends three days repenting inside the belly of the beast. By God’s will Jonah is released from his situation and travels to Ninevah as God originally intended.

book cover design 6 - in the belly of the beast

The moral of the story is basically not to run from your responsibilities. The implication of being “in the belly of the beast” is that one has shunned his or her responsibilities. Contemporary implications are more political. For example a spy who has infiltrated an organization in order to undermine it from the inside. This is the interpretation I attempted to illustrate in today’s design.

The words are arranged in a way that creates a small void in the middle of the phrase. Within the void I placed a red skull shape. Both the color and the shape indicate a feeling of danger. The belly of the beast is a dangerous place to be, no matter what the reason for being there. In thinking through my imagery for this phrase I came up with several ideas for designs. I might revisit these ideas and post additional designs for this phrase in the future.

Have a great day! See you all tomorrow.
Sean