"Where is the Foe" (Packaging / Book of the Year, "Foe")


  • Anne Morin MacEwan University


Foe by Iain Reid is a science fiction psychological thriller. Upon the arrival of a mysterious stranger to a remote farm inhabited by an unsuspecting married couple, a series of puzzling and unsettling events unfold. Foe explores the themes of marriage, self-determination, and what it means to be human. This brochure is a promotional piece preceding the book. The brochure is folded in a double gatefold in order to surprise the viewer with the hidden contents inside. The front displays a simple layout with digital and futuristic text, showcasing the novel’s sci-fi setting. The text states the following: where is the foe? The book presents many elements and characters that may or may not be “infiltrators” or “foes”, alluding to the book’s title. Throughout the story, the reader attempts to decipher the identity of this foe. However, by the end of this story, this puzzle is never solved. The reader is left to their own devices to determine the true foe. Inside the brochure are many of the elements mentioned in the book, such as the beetles, the barn, the green headlights, the coffee, the piano, outer space, and the characters’ initials. The colour scheme is futuristic; however, these illustrations’ lines are drawn in a pencil texture. These contrasting styles capture how the book simultaneously carries futuristic themes and old-fashioned imagery. The story is set in the future, yet the couple resides an old-fashioned lifestyle. This cluttered and claustrophobic imagery also demonstrates how Hen felt trapped and constraint in her relationship with Junior. Moreover, the car and the beetles have the same shape as the barn, which is a visual representation of how the two infiltrated this couple’s home. These elements are scattered in a puzzle-like manner in order to confuse and disorient the viewer. Like the book, it is up to the viewer to piece together these elements and find the answer.

Department: Design Studies 

Faculty Mentor: Constanza Pacher