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Sunday, July 15, 2007

How to Speak at Special Events

Design by Alister MacInnes

Remember when I was looking for more book covers and jackets with no titles on the front? Designer Alister MacInnes sent this in recently.


Alister passed along in an email: "The final cover is based on that famous nightmare of getting up in front of a crowded room only to realise that you are standing in your underwear. The audience gives reference to the kinds of talks that are discussed in the book e.g. weddings, funerals, kids talks, etc."

Alister, I know you told me that this is coming out in September, but could you tell us if this is UK market only or if we'll see it in the States and elsewhere?

17 comments:

photosynthesize said...

i do love the concept, and the illustration itself. but what is the reason for the pixel type style?

AL said...

Hi,

Joseph, thanks for the post. This cover is not for the UK only, it will be sold around the world.

In response to Photosynthesize’s question – there were three main reasons for using the pixel style:

1. This title is by quite a conservative author and a large number of his readers might be offended by the cover concept if it were to be executed photographicly. So by using the pixel people it softens the image, and adds a greater sense of playful humour to the cover.

2. By dropping the title and using the pixel people it hopefully opens the book to a wider market that would otherwise overlook the title. The pixel people have a contemporary note, giving reference to Machinima, Kubrick, and other book covers like J-POD, hopefully giving the title a wider potential readership. The title will also be among a lot of other titles about public speaking – so we need to get the book to jump off the shelf.

3. The budget for this cover was very tight, so a photo shoot was out of the question. And finding a cheap stock images of a guy in his underwear, standing if front of a group of people that include a bride & groom, grave stone and small children was proving difficult. ;)

photosynthesize said...

*nods enthusiastically* :)

Ian B. Shimkoviak said...

It's edgy. I would not know what it is at first glance AT ALL. As a designer my first reaction would be to think that this was a book featuring a bunch of funny pixel art.

Sometimes it is great to just keep the "fun" stuff for a different title. That would be my suggestion in this case. On that note, I do not think this cover is going to increase sales or reach a wider audience. In fact I think this will be misunderstood looked at, and finally taken less seriously than if the book had a more traditional approach.

In the end, it's a fun exploration. That's all.

Ian B. Shimkoviak said...

And what's with the random gravestone???

andrea said...

Funerals, love; that's why the gravestone. I really appreciate Al's post here -- I don't know if I ever really think about the budget constraints that must be involved in creating a cover. I think the bright colors would attract my eye. The pixelation would probably make me look closer, and then I'd be more likely to pick it up and see what it's about. Very nice, based on criteria of getting one big step closer to making the sale.

salamanderhill.com said...

Love it. I went straight to amazon to see if I could order it.

David Drummond

Ian B. Shimkoviak said...

Must have been a long, time consuming trip doing all that pixel art. You know, for the tight budget and all.

no name no subtitle said...

Hi - this design has to pass a committee in order to be published so if you want Al's design to go through then vote now to say it should happen!

no name no subtitle said...

Hi - in order for Al's design to go to print it needs to pass a sceptical committee so if you think Al's design should be published then vote with your comments now!

Ian B. Shimkoviak said...

Sure, yeah. Go for it. It'll be fun seeing it in the stores... You got my vote.

Joseph said...

Well, your humble BDR host certainly likes it.

David Drummond said...

My vote for sure

Anonymous said...

We're on to something here...

Instead of publishers giving designers the shakedown when it comes to getting great covers through - all us designers can post designs for consideration then flood the publisher with gushing comments to get them through. Hell, why not? They bend their ears to the authors dog for creative advice for crying out loud...

Mark said...

Ian B. Shimkoviak, you seem pretty unimaginitve.

Like he said, the book would be on a shelf filled with public speaking books. The book will always be in a context that explains it. This cover, to me, appeals to a younger reader. Hopefully the content does too, or its an injustice.

Anonymous said...

Of course, the back cover should be the reverse: the speaker clothed and the audience in their underware.

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