The Lolita Cover Project

What designer doesn’t enjoy the challenge of creating a cover for Nabokov’s Lolita? Architect John Bertram contacted me last year to contribute to an anthology that he was editing entitled Lolita: The Story of a Cover Girl: Vladimir Nabokov’s Novel in Art and Design.

Around 200 designers submitted graphics to this anthology in the end including Jessica Helfand, Ellen Lupton, Michel Vrana, Chin-Yee Lai and David Gee.

The resulting collection of essays and graphics dig deeply into the limitations of representing Lolita through image and, for that matter, through language.
The book is now available on Amazon.

My cover (below) hijacks an official government identification form. Readers are encouraged to select their own descriptors of Lolita from a list of words pulled from Humbert Humbert’s own vocabulary. No matter what choice the reader makes, he/she is still limited by Humbert’s unpredictable, twisted vision. In other words, filling out the form on the cover efficiently replicates the experience of reading the book.

Poster with large Lolita text