Making meaning out of nothing at all

Joviana Carrillo, an independent artist whoses work is posted on the print site, has created book covers for a book that’s not just fiction… but fictional.


The above covers are beautifully designed, but the book they’re supposed to be representing is fictional.  The book, “An Imperial Affliction” is actually a fictional one mentioned in the real (and very popular) YA book “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green.  Green has a large fan base, with over one million subscribers to his Youtube channel, vlogbrothers.

As a fan of the book, Carrillo made these as posters, prints and postcards as an inside joke for other fans of the book – you have to be a fan to know the book, since it’s literally the only place you could find the reference, making the understanding of the lack of meaning, the true meaning of the piece, which is slightly mind bending.  What’s really intriguing about the piece is the very obvious use of symbolism and meaning in art that has come from something without much meaning – the fake book has barely any passages mentioned and only a brief summary of its plot in Green’s book, yet Carrillo’s design would convince me in a heartbeat that it was the real deal.

The covers show great principles of design.  The first uses contrast between both the flower and background, as well as between the amount of contrast between the flower/background, and the lack of colour variation between the name and the background.  The bright flower is brought forward because of the warm, vibrant colours, while the title is more of an afterthought, an interesting choice.

The second uses alignment, focusing the reader on the middle of the piece with the flower, and again letting this lead to the afterthought of the title.

The third uses repetition with the flowers, and opted for a warmer look over all.

The forth uses a more subtle proximity, using the space around the strikingly contrasted text, to the man in the boat and the background, as well as relative sizes of the font used, and the large amounts of “white space”.

– Sarah