Olly Moss brings iconic design, vibrant colour and classic imagery for these latest Harry Potter cover designs, commissioned by Pottermore and exclusive to the German audiobooks.
Olly Moss’s love for Harry Potter shines through as we discuss designing covers for the re-release of the German Harry Potter audiobooks. He admits, though, that the work was a labour of love. ‘I didn’t need to re-read the books,’ he says, ‘they’re just there in my head.’
These new designs were commissioned by Pottermore and are classic Olly Moss: iconic, beautifully executed and full of details every true fan will recognise. This time the covers are a series of reimagined holiday posters from the golden age of British railways with Hogwarts at centre stage.
The posters have a nostalgic feel to them; the colour palette is that of 1950s seaside towns, steam trains and long summer holidays. ‘I was just a big fan of 1950s design,’ Moss explains, ‘and it just seemed like a natural fit. I really liked the idea of Harry getting on a train and going somewhere exciting every year. There is something very British about that. That period of design – and obviously Harry Potter – is steeped in that imagery and I wanted to bring those two things together.’
As with Olly’s Harry Potter eBook covers revealed last year, each poster is brilliantly complex. A simple design hides layers of detail that offer more than first meets the eye. ‘I tried to fill them with as many little details as I could within the constraints of keeping the composition and the viewpoint the same every time,’ says Moss.
He points out the Dark Mark that hovers in the clouds above Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. ‘I sent it in and the feedback was, “Do you think we could see a Dark Mark on that poster?” and I said, “Look, it’s already there!”’
Fans of Olly’s work not only get to enjoy his creations on the covers of the German audiobooks but also have the opportunity to purchase the original designs for themselves. Which is his favourite? Could he pick one out? Olly laughs. ‘No! This is such a cop-out answer, but my favourite would be looking at them altogether. I mean, that’s how it was designed: it was designed as a series.’
When we press him he reluctantly admits that if he had to choose it would be Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. ‘I think it’s the one with the palette which most mimics the style of the old posters. It seems the most authentic to me, which is what I was going for.’
Olly is typically self-deprecating but he is very ready to admit how excited he is about other fans hanging his work up on their walls. ‘I really like that people who have a similar love of Harry Potter will also hopefully appreciate my personal take on it and that makes me very happy. I’m very proud of that.’
Olly’s artwork is exclusive to the German Harry Potter audiobooks, narrated by Rufus Beck.