BFI Film Classics

I recently purchased a number of BFI Film Classic books and was disappointed to find that there wasn’t a consistent look across the series. BFI first released the series in 1998 but have been releasing additional books every few years. The result is a series of 170 books, all the same 135x170mm dimensions but varying in pagination between 96 and 128 pages.


Understandably due to the number of books, and time frame over which they have been released, there are now three easily defined styles of book cover. I wanted to create a system for producing aesthetically pleasing book covers which would negate image licensing expenses and be easily edited for each new book, whilst maintaining the BFI brand.

Each book explores background information, production notes and general conversation regarding the themes and narratives of the film allowing the reader to make their own informed opinion about the film. Using Rorschach test imagery as inspiration, I created different images to represent each genre, which could then be overlaid to create a Rorschach-style ink blot, available for interpretation by the viewer.

Coupled with brand fonts, and a pre-existing ‘BFI Film Classics’ banner, I was able to formulaically fulfil my self-imposed brief, whilst maintaining a strong connection to the BFI films each book is celebrating. The banner position directly relates to the banner location on previous renditions of the books, as well as on the counterpart DVD covers. The colour palette depicts the decade from which the film was originally released.