Coryl Reef

writer, artist, and freelance editor // blogging about words, life, and all the rest

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This is a representative selection of some design and formatting work I’ve done, both for commission and personal projects. I’ve aimed to show a range of my styles and capabilities, though I have highlighted my photo-manipulation skills. I would classify my style as theme-dependent and colour palette-focused. You can see my CV/resume here (.doc) and here (PDF) on Google Drive for more unfeatured work.

Cover Redesigns: Genre Swapping

I picked two childhood-favourite books for which I wanted to redesign the covers. Since I’ve read the books multiple times, I was intimately familiar with the themes, imagery, and style of the stories. Using this knowledge, I aimed to swap the genre of the books to convey a different mood from the original cover while still maintaining the story’s key elements.

The Thief Lord

Author: Cornelia Funke

Original Genre: Children’s Fantasy

Swapped Genre: YA Magical Realism

2017 //
Adobe Photoshop //
photo manipulation, typography //
personal work

The Thief Lord is one of my favourite childhood novels by one of my favourite authors. The original cover is a dark, foggy, nighttime scene in chalk pastel by artist Christian Birmingham, with gold embossed text. I chose this book to redesign for two reasons. My first reason was a desire to show the magic of the story through the artwork. The second reason was to include more visual elements and imagery from the story in the artwork: the carousel horse is a nod to the plot of the story; and the canals of Venice sets the story.




Cover Redesign: The Bad Beginning

Author: Lemony Snicket

Original Genre: Children’s Gothic or Absurdist Fiction

Swapped Genre: YA Contemporary

2017 //
Adobe Photoshop //
photo manipulation, typography //
personal work

A Series of Unfortunate Events was a staple in my childhood reading (moreso than Harry Potter—and I’m not sorry). The original covers feature gorgeous illustrations by Brett Helquist that highlight the absurd tone of the writing and the gothic elements of the story. I wanted to remove the whimsy from the series and focus on the real trauma that the Baudelaires survive. My first goal was to use photography for a more “realistic” setting. My second goal was to enhance the element of mystery. The resulting artwork is simple and intentionally borders on a feminine mood due to the large readership of YA contemporary novels (women).




Cover, Jacket, and Interior and Exterior Layout

On Wings of Faith, Hope, and Love

Poetry and Prose Collection

2016 //
Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign //
typography, digital illustration //
freelance client

I was commissioned by a local poet for her self-published collection of poetry and prose. This print-only project needed a full book package from interior to exterior. After we met for a creative consultation, I designed the interior to accommodate the largely senior readership she would have. The changes included larger text size and line spacing to increase readability for those with poorer and failing eyesight. The core theme of the collection was growth like a butterfly, so the image of a butterfly in flight was incorporated from the realistic image on the cover to the abstracted glyph in the running headers. The cover features a custom, digital illustration of a blue butterfly as its focal point, with script typography to suit the poet’s style. The poet wanted a cover that was feminine without being too delicate or flashy. This collection, as well as the 2nd edition re-releases, were published through Windsor Public Library, and followed their guidelines for formatting and design.

This page was last updated on March 20, 2018.