Writing on the Wall came to Hallam Design students with the task of designing three books made by aspiring
authors. Ryan Dean chose to design the cover and page spreads for The Lost Winter by Elizabeth Ryan. When
reading the story, Dean was captured by the dark world described in the writing and was creatively inspired by
the mention of orange and blue.
This led to him using a range of handmade techniques, most notably crosshatch sketching for illustrations and
burning collaged pieces of paper together to make the final cover. As well as this Dean used acrylic paint to
introduce reds, oranges, and yellows into the cover so that they could contrast with the blue drawings.
The result was a cover that looked like it came from the world of The Lost Winter. Burnt, Broken, and
Battered; this tells the reader the sort of story they’re about to read and gets them excited for the experience.
After the project was finished, Dean wanted an exhibition closer to home to celebrate the work he and his fellow designers had made. He was more than happy to form a solution to this by planning an exhibition in Sheffield. Two other designers on the project, Georgina Challinor and Rebekah Krain helped him with this goal. Together they created an exhibition held at La Biblioteka, a bookstore in the city centre. The focus was on showcasing printed material of everyone’s work from the Writing on the Wall brief. This meant having large banners with high-quality images of work, a publication, and a leaflet for people to take away. Furthermore, a website was made to create easy access to the Instagrams of all designers.