Volume I: Edgar Allan Poe

Category: brand.development |
Design: illustration | book.layout |
Marketing: online | |
Extras: printing | book.binding | book.enhancement

The pitch

Anthologies of Horror revives classic stories in a new way. Each book is a beautiful collection of an author’s work, illustrated by hand, continuing the long-standing tradition of the illustrated fiction of the 19th century.

Volume 1: Edgar Allan Poe features fourteen short-stories and poems by the title-giving author, Edgar Allan Poe. These stories, that changed the horror genre forever, are now brought to you in a beautiful tome accompanied by over 50 boneshaking illustrations from the hands of illustrator Sebastian Becker.

Anthologies of Horror Volume 1: Edgar Allan Poe collects fourteen of Poe's best writings, handpicked by the illustrator.

These carefully selected stories are illustrated by over 50 hand-drawn, mainly black and white images by illustrator Sebastian Becker. The purposefully chosen, graphite and pencil technique lend the illustrations an expressive, powerful character, that pairs perfectly with Poe's writing to give a dark and upsetting mood - a mood of horror.

Evoking the design of 19th century books, Anthologies of Horror is edited by hand in a classic layout combined with modern ideas and printing techniques, combining the best of both worlds. Digitally printed on finest, rib-free laid paper, the book has a characteristic tactile feeling to it which makes the reading experience a treat.

Anthologies of Horror is the diploma thesis of Sebastian Becker. Tasked with the development, design and marketing of an illustrated collection of short-stories and poems by author Edgar Allan Poe, the first step was developing a publishing house that fitted the needs of the product and its philosophy.

The Publishing House | Haunted Heart Publishing

Opposing the digitization of the book market
Celebrating books as an artform
Bringing a piece of history to your home

Designing a Logo that fits

Finding a Logo, that captures the characteristics of Victorian era design aesthetics, without drifting into kitsch was a difficult task. Part of Haunted Hearts design philosophy is bringing the designs of yesteryears to a modern time. Their Logo had to follow that same principles. The solution was a word-image mark, combining a signet with the publisher's name. The signet was developed from a monogram, by mirroring and flipping.

Corporate Design

The corporate fonts were picked for their history, readability and character:

Abstract victorian-style design elements help create that special character.
Haunted Heart Publishing needed a clear and simple, more classic Corporate Design, without any flashy modern twists. The final result was printed onto hand-made German laid paper by Hahnemühle. This choice of paper was a natural fit for the aesthetics the publisher needed.

The product-website is a one pager, combining moody images with descriptive text, explaining the project, it's creators as well as offering a web shop for instant access.

The Book

Designing and layouting an illustrated novel isn't as easy a task as it might seem at first sight. In order to follow the classical book layouts but also incorporate a mixed illustration style of old and new, the layout needs to follow this guideline. Between Jan Tschichold and the golden canon of page construction and the crazy freedom of Swiss Typography somewhere lies the balance for Anthologies of Horror. Following the established design concept, the book layout follows a more classic construction, converted to fit the illustration style.
Once the layout is fixed and all the text is in the book, the illustrations can be made. Reading Edgar Allan Poe's writings carefully, each illustration is a personal interpretation of the written words, very deliberately fitted the page that puts it into its very own context.

Take a look at some of the illustrations and interior pages. More making-of and work in progress shots are available at my Instagram.

The Cover

How do you put a cover on an illustrated book? The obvious solution is by putting an illustration on it. But sometimes, the overall aesthetics dictate a different approach. That's why the cover of Anthologies of Horror takes inspiration from 19th Century book covers and posters. In the end, a type-only treatment was the way to go.


The goal of the Ad-Campaign was to point out the deeper reading experience that the illustrations and the authentic design of the book offer the reader. For that purpose, using the illustrations was the number one choice. By modifying the illustrations with the signal colour red, singling out the main focus of the image, a strong visual is created. Combining that with short excerpts from the stories, the whole ad has all it needs.

The detailed marketing campaign can be seen in it's own post coming soon.