Robinson Crusoe & the War of Shadows

Perrin1 picked a winning design in their book cover contest. For just $599 they received 206 designs from 48 designers.

Here’s a peek at the client’s brief

Contest title


Robinson Crusoe & the War of Shadows


Not specified

Background information

Organization name

Adaptive Studios

Description of the organization and its target audience

Develops intellectual property.


Entertainment & The Arts

Content details


We would like a book cover designed for a fresh take on Robinson Crusoe.

When the original novel Robinson Crusoe was published in 1719, it was an immediate sensation. Though it didn’t have the financial results author Daniel Defoe had hoped for, it did make household names of both he and his titular character and also gave birth to a genre that endures to this day. It has long been thought that Robinson Crusoe was a fictitious character based loosely on the real Robert Knox. That was before Suriya “Friday” Dinijara’s diary was discovered.

"Robinson Crusoe and the War of Shadows" is set in the late 17th Century, a time of great crisis and discovery, a time when plague, famine, fire, and war give birth to Newton, Bach, Vermeer and Milton. While it borrows the names of the two central characters from Defoe’s novel, our story uses little else from the source material. Instead, our adapted series moves Crusoe and Friday into a semi-historical world of intrigue, where modern day espionage is gaining popularity among governments, kingdoms, and nefarious opportunists looking for the upper hand.

Having recently survived the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London, England appears vulnerable but its true strength lies in a small organization known as Section W (named after Sir Francis Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth I of England’s spymaster and a forefather of modern espionage) created to combat the evil organization know as the Circle of XIII.

To date Section W knows very little about the Circle of XIII. It seems that there are thirteen members at all times and that each member is given a codename from the Zodiac (Gemini accounts for two). Beyond the thirteen core members, the Circle of XIII controls a vast army of underlings across the globe all of whom are marked with the group’s symbol - XIII. Their mission is simple – to cause chaos, unrest, and turmoil through clandestine operations in an attempt to destabilize and weaken their enemies and ultimately take over the world.

Robinson Crusoe and the War of Shadows is a mash-up of an iconic literary figure known for his survival skills thrown into a world of espionage. It is a sweeping adventure of intrigue, daring thrills, wild chases, exotic locations, romance, friendship, and betrayal.

It is a world from which infinite stories can be told.

Book 1 is the first cover and we are proud to use 99 Designs to find a spectacular artist up for this challenge.

Most important to us:

Book art should feature Robinson Crusoe, Friday and Daniel Defoe as our 3 main protagonists (think Andrew Garfield as our disheveled Robinson, Armie Hammer as Daniel Defoe and Frieda Pinto as Friday). There is a love triangle here, with Friday in the middle of our aloof, reluctant hero (Crusoe) and the privileged, groomed and chiseled Defoe. The danger in this novel is palpable, as is the sexual tension.

Our protagonists should be older than kids but this should not look like another YA Supernatural Vampire Fabio book — The artwork should certainly indicate this is a spy series.

Branding the title "Robinson Crusoe & the War of Shadows: Book 1 (Libra)" in a cool, unique and appropriate way - see visual references as well.

Idea: Incorporate all 13 zodiac signs along the top, bottom or side borders

Idea: Indicate the shadowy silhouettes of the 13

Idea: Possibly include a compass/treasure map/parchment paper background or leave it for Book 7 when RC returns to the island to dive for clues related to the shipwreck

Idea: Possibly include a windmill to indicate that this adventure will be in Holland

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