Die Spinne aber schwoll an, bäumte sich auf, und zwischen den kurzen Borsten hervor quollen giftig ihre Augen.
— Jeremias Gotthelf, Die schwarze Spinne

Die schwarze Spinne

This book is the result of an interdisciplinary project at the
HBK Braunschweig. While in one course I had to make several sinister illustrations, in the other course I had to create an ebook for a new iPhone-app that our university was developing together with the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen. Therefore I decided to combine both courses and choose an eerie text to work with – a world classic by the swiss author Jeremias Gotthelf titled »Die schwarze Spinne« (The Black Spider). Thus I could give the illustrations an additional value by creating them for a specific text. In the end I inserted them into my e-pub-file and arranged them dramaturgically along the story.

I reduced the storyline very drastically in the illustrations, just concentrating the focus on the spider as the nonhuman protagonist of the narration. Excluding every person, helped me to focus on the cunning and menace of this monstrous insect. I wanted to create a mood, that helps the reader to feel the helplessness and impotence of the human characters in the text. An omnipresent spider inside and outside the story. 

As Gotthelf describes the scenery very carefully by adding lots of details, I ended up making very ornamental and floral pictures, inspired by antique wallpapers and fabric patterns.

Technical Data

Title: ›Die schwarze Spinne‹
Status: university project
Medium: 13 illustrations, e-book
Year: 2009–2010
University: HBK Braunschweig
Cooperation: Folkwang Hochschule in Essen
Mentoring: Stefan Gunnesch, Jörg Petri, Prof. Ralf de Jong
Infos: zenodot.info



Layout: Klaas van Kreis
Fonts: Constantia, Scotch Roman MT
Format: 600 × 900 px
Pages: 301 pg



Illustrations: Klaas van Kreis
Text: Jeremias Gotthelf, 1842, (Project Gutenberg).


Series of 10 illustrations for the book.


Custom pattern, to simulate the endpaper in classic hardcover books. Traditionally the owner would place his personal bookplate on these sites.

I uploaded the whole book to issuu, so you can read it for free. The original text is also freely available on Project Gutenberg, as the original copyright is long expired.

If you want some additional information about the project itself, please visit the website zenodot.info.