Paul Kepple

The Lord of the Rings is my favorite book series and something that is incredibly important to me, so getting to create my own edition is a dream come true. With a series as popular and influential as it is (not to mention the countless editions and renditions of the years), I wanted to create an edition that has never been done before. With a different, more obscured approach to illustrations and annotations about the rich lore of Middle Earth, these Lord of the Rings books are uniquely mine. 

The goal of this project was to approach this classic series in a unique way that hasn’t been seen before. For typogrpahy, I went away from what is traditionally seen for medieval fantasy and chose a simple sans serif typeface (Serenity). Each book of the trilogy was given it’s own color to help them stand out from each other. This color continues throughout the entire design of each installment. 


These symbols each represent the different factions and kingdoms within the rich world of Middle Earth. They became decorative elements for the series, especially the top row, who decorate the three installments of the trilogy.

I wanted a unique, illustrative approach to the covers that used as little type as possible, instead using imagery distinct to each book. The number of goldfoil rings surronding the characters indicates which number in the trilogy a book is. 

With such a rich world, including Tolkien’s detailed map was needed. The endpages incorporates it with each book focused in on the kingdom that it takes place in. 

The title pages incorporates the spine symbols with the “ring poem” seen on the slip case.

The table of contents combines the map elements of the end-pages with the simple typography of the interiors. 

The chapter illustrations where made to be less literal and more as moodpieces for certain scenes and characters, differentiating it from previous interpretations.However, the two section openers in each book gives veiwers a bigger picture of key scenes, allowing them to be somewhat grounded in the locations they are reading about.

Tolkien’s works are so full of their own history and background that books have been written just for Middle Earth’s backstory. This edition adds annotations along the side of the pages to give readers lessons on things like language translations, backstory, or different interpretations of events.