John Bertram invited me to participate in his 2011 Lolita Project, where book designers contributed their interpretation of Nabokov’s controversial novel.
In so many ways, I couldn’t even try to present this version to a client, and it has to do with the stain on the handkerchief (too salacious). The title is rendered in coral lipstick—a colour many 12-year-old girls of that era may have chosen as their first lipstick.
It always bugged me how so many editions of the book avoid any real visual nod to Humbert Humbert. In the end, avoiding him leads to oversexualizing Dolores—she is objectified in the book, after all—and so subconsciously laying the ‘blame’ for his pedophelia firmly in her lap. This balances out the power, or at least reminds readers what was really going on in the story.