Penguin Random House hold a book cover design competition every year for students, and their 2016 chosen text for the Adult Fiction Award was Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange.
The brief specified that it should be designed for a new generation of readers, communicate the themes of the book's narrative, and avoid clichés.
My design directly references the character F. Alexander, a writer in the story who is beaten by the main character, and whose own book (which gets destroyed by Alex) is called 'A Clockwork Orange'.
The red stain is intentionally ambiguous. It can be seen as blood, as if the book has been plucked from the story itself and given to the reader, or it can be viewed as red wine — a reference to the main character's love for culture and sophistication.
For more details about the working process, read my blog post.