The author’s novel comes with a pack of stickers to let readers personalize their copies.
Suzanne Dean, the Creative Director of publishing company Random House, has produced a new type of book cover that can be personalized by its readers with various stickers.
The customizable cover was created for the book Colorless Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage, the latest novel by Japanese author Haruki Murakami. Each first edition copy of the book that is translated into English comes with a pack of stickers that can be used by the readers to “design” their own cover.
Tsukuru translates to “to build” or “to make” and this inspired the unique design of the book cover, according to Dean.
Random House commissioned five Japanese illustrators to create stickers that represent each of the book’s characters – close childhood friends Mr. Red, Mr. Blue, Miss White, Miss Black and Colorless Tsukuru.
Tokyo-based artist Mio Matsumoto created stickers based on Colorless. Comic book author and visual artist Fumio Obata’s illustrations were based on Blue, while illustrator Ryu Itadani created stickers for Red. London-based illustrator Natsko Seki had White and Tokyo artist Shinko Okuhara created the illustrations for Black.
According to Dean, the idea for the cover design came from her son’s love for using stickers everywhere. In a news release about the project, she explains,
The meaning of Tsukuru’s name was a gift, a perfect match for the idea of including adult stickers for the reader to use to decorate the novel. My young son’s delight in using stickers everywhere started me thinking about this. I had seen stickers used on Royal Mail stamps, on CDs and, of course, in children’s books, but I didn’t think they had been incorporated into adult fiction. I commissioned five Japanese illustrators, who were asked to read the novel with their allotted character in mind, and to create stickers that were coloured in a way that indicated their character. These illustrators brought a uniquely Japanese style and a knowledge of Japanese detail to the project.
The English edition of the new novel is expected to be released in August.