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  • Writer's pictureThe Publishing Post

Design Spotlight: The Deluxe Hunger Games Collection

By Juliette Tulloch, Laura Wallace, Megan Coote and Tessa Thejas Thomas

This design spotlight is on Freya Betts and the eagerly awaited deluxe hardcover box set of The Hunger Games trilogy, together with The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Let's look at the designer and her artwork in this beautiful new collection.

The Designer

Freya Betts is a freelance illustrator based in the UK who focuses on hyper-realistic portraiture. Her chosen medium is normally digital painting, and she boasts a wide collection of work that spans over commercial and editorial areas. She utilises a range of digital programs, such as Photoshop and Procreate, to achieve her art style. Betts started her career in the film industry at eighteen, working on art campaigns for Universal and Marvel during her apprenticeship. Previous examples of her work include thirteen official posters for Netflix’s third season of Sex Education and twelve digitally painted Star Trek stamps for Royal Mail. The official posters for Sex Education season three incorporate intricate botanical elements illustrated by Betts, and these elements are different for each character. A blessed thistle, for example, is chosen for the character of Maeve Wiley, to represent bravery and strength. Likewise, the series of Star Trek Royal Mail stamps feature the galaxy illustrated in a distinct colour scheme for each character. This makes them perfect collector’s items whilst ensuring they remain harmonious as a collection. Alongside an extensive portfolio of professional work, Betts has created personal digital movie posters inspired by a range of media. This includes Don’t Worry Darling, starring Florence Pugh, and other notable modern movies such as Mulan. For her digital painting inspired by the Disney movie Soul, she adapted the animated style of the film to match her own hyper-realistic painting style. Betts writes about being inspired by the themes of life and death portrayed within the movie, and has used her art style to capture this. Betts has a complex but distinct art style which can be seen across her work. She has utilised her niche for detailed, modern artwork to create designs for Suzanne Collin’s collection that contrast the original covers, which were darker to fit the tone of Katniss’ world, to bring a fresh new perspective on the trilogy with the addition of the prequel. You can view more of Freya Bett’s personal and professional work on her official website.

The Design

The new intricate designs by Betts provide a modern twist on the classic covers by incorporating the books’ signature icon with an updated look. Central to each design is the Mockingjay, the fictional bird created by author Suzanne Collins, which is Katniss’ token when she enters the Hunger Games arena and later a symbol of the rebellion against the capitol. The Mockingjay has been a main feature on all editions of the books that have been released throughout the years in some way or another and, so, by keeping this central to the newest designs, Betts has maintained the nostalgia while providing a new, elevated and elegant design. The bird design is delicate but powerful and looks striking against the bright backgrounds – particularly the bold red used for Catching Fire. The Mockingjay of the third book, The Mockingjay, seems to be in flight, wings spread wide, giving a visual representation of the rebellion taking off with Katniss at the helm. The covers lined up together visually depict the theme of overcoming conflict and being free from controlling forces. The prequel book has a snake hanging from the branches of a tree, as a nod to the title The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and the key role snakes play throughout the book. This is especially significant due to the anticipated release of the upcoming The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes movie adaptation. Each of the covers are decorated with delicate leaves in vibrant shades, giving the feeling of being in the forest. The forest plays a key part in Katniss’ journey, from the Hunger Games arena to her hunting skills and her love for the forest back home in District Twelve. In each of the covers, behind the Mockingjay, a bright expanse of white light appears. Not only does this draw the eye to the recurring symbol of the book, but it also emphasises the significance that this symbol has during times of adversity. The sans serif text for each title is displayed on the spine but is absent on the front cover. Betts’ design is elegant and would appeal to readers who grew up with the series as these new editions feel more mature than the previous editions, which were targeted at the YA market and so were designed with this in mind.

The stunning collection is not to be missed! Find the Deluxe Hunger Games Collection by Suzanne Collins at Waterstones.



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