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Monday, August 13, 2007

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman paperback and hardcover

Design by John Gall

John Gall's designs for the Murakami paperbacks are some of my all-time favorites. If you're not familiar with them, check them out here. (And read the interview too; it's a good one.)

Here we see something equally wonderful but rather different going on: Murakami's name has been brought to the top, the focus on the face has been reduced, and the geometry is more rigid:


It's clearly different from, but more in tune with, another of Gall's covers:


Compare to the hardcover, which in many ways couldn't be more different than the new paperback and which is so good on its own terms.

4 comments:

Ian S. said...

while I love all these designs, I don't get any of them. I mean they are graphically interesting and the style of the colored blocks is cool and done a lot nowadays, but what does it all mean? I guess the bottom line with these is just a strong, graphic presence. Some of them hint at a time period through the use of a particular typeface or color scheme etc. So maybe that is the defining feel of the story. Beautiful nonetheless.

david e said...

It's a nice enough cover on its own, but it's a shame that it's such a departure from the earlier trade paperback covers, with their repeated circle motifs/shapes. They had a good thing going--as close as you can really get to a brand identity in a field as diffuse as book covers--but not any more.

rachel said...

I picked up this paperback in Helsinki recently, and it had the same design as the hardcover. Fine by me.

Regarding Ian's "but what does it all mean?", this book is a collection of 24 Murakami stories. I finished reading them last month and didn't find a whole lot of continuity in the stories, beyond that classic Murakami style of writing. The stories also span his writing career, so there's a lot of variety.

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