Saturday, March 24, 2012

Shelf Candy Saturday (22) - Hunger Games

Shelf Candy Saturday is a meme that celebrates the many times unrecognized, but invaluable hard work of book cover designers. They say never judge a book by its cover, but you know you do!!
So now, run on over to Five Alarm Book Reviews (the creators of this fun meme) and check out more awesome covers!

With the release of the first installment of the movie adaptation of Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games series, I though it would be a perfect time for me to feature the amazing covers.

I love the simplicity in these covers and that thematically, they tell a story as the series progresses (ending with a feeling of freedom in Mockingjay.) The crop circle graphics in the background of each adds a futuristic vibe.

The mockingjay pin from the cover for The Hunger Games in particular has become iconic. The pin design has been used to market the movie in everything from posters to t-shirts. The artist behind these amazing covers is Tim O'Brien, an Illustration Professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia (in collaboration with designer Phil Falco.)

The design for the Hunger Games box set.

At UArts with sculpture by Amedeo Salamoni. MICHAEL S. WIRTZ / Staff Photographer (Tim O'Brien, an illustration professor) Philadelphia Inquirer
Some info for you from O'Brien's website:

Tim O’Brien is an illustrator and portrait painter whose intricately detailed and imaginative illustrations have been published most notably in TIME Magazine as well as Der Spiegel, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, TV Guide, The Atlantic Monthly, Business Week, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, PlanSponsor, National Geographic, Playboy, Penthouse, New York Magazine, The New York Times, Reader’s Digest,  Avon Books, Dial, Harper Collins, Penguin, Times Books, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, TOR, Viking, Warner, and many others.  Tim has designed several US Postage Stamps.

Tim is a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and lectures frequently across the country.  If you would like Tim to visit your school or organization, contact Tim via the contact page.

Tim lives in Prospect Park South in Brooklyn New York with his wife, Creative Director at Scholastic, Elizabeth Parisi, and their wonderful son, Cassius.

O'Brien is a diverse artist whose creations include not only books...

The Delicate Sound of Thunder
White House Autumn

 ...but also iconic magazine portraits....

...and whimsical advertising campaigns:


Amazing, non?

Well, that's it for this week (and also the end of Hunger Games Mania until next year...) Be sure to head to Five Alarm Book Reviews (FABR for the cool kids :) ) and see what everyone else is featuring this week!


  1. Is this not the perfect week for this post? Can you believe my husband asked me last night, "So, what is this Hunger Games thing that everyone is talking about?" Apparently I am not jabbering as much about books to him as I thought I was.
    I agree, the simplicity is what makes these covers pop. They are awesome.
    Thanks for including more about the artist and his other work. He did an amazing job on that Times cover. It is eerie!

    1. That Times cover is amazing! I figured I'd end my Hunger Games mania week with this post. I'm glad I did because I had fun researching O'Brien's work.

  2. Great pick! I can't wait to see Hunger Games! I'm going Sunday night! I loved that you included more art from the artist. Really great idea. I especially love the melted snow man.
    Thanks so much!

    Visit mine

  3. Great choice. I do love these covers. my scs

  4. i love learning more about the artist. i am going to see hg tomorrow and i hope it's good. thanks for sharing!

  5. Great pick and so timely as well! I really like how they kept the Hunger Games covers simple. There were so many different ways they could have gone but they ended up working really well. The artist's other work is amazing too.

    Thanks for stopping by Project to be Read :)

  6. Great choice! I love this cover and the book! I can't wait to go see the movie, but I have to wait so my hubby can go with me! :)

    Our Shelf Candy Anna@BookLovinMamas

  7. Oh, "Hunger Games" mania is sweeping the country! So yes, these are excellent choices at this time!! Although I think all three covers are striking, I do prefer the second one. There's just something about the three circles, with the middle one having that orange glow behind it, s well as that eerie-looking bird in mid-flight... Tim O'Brien is indeed very talented, and his list of clients very impressive! I agree with Steph from FABR -- it's nice that you included O'Brien's other work, as well. Great picks this week!!

    Thanks for dropping by and commenting on my own Shelf Candy post!! : )

    Maria @

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