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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot

Design by Carol Devine Carson

A serious cover for a book that posits a serious thesis: as the Wikipedia article summarizes it, "The End of America shows how events of the last six years parallel steps taken in the early years of the twentieth century's worst dictatorships and urges Americans to take action to restore their constitutional values before they suffer the same fate."


If the cover reminds you of pamphlets from the 18th century, it should. The call to action might be as important:


(Image from Wikipedia)

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10 comments:

Ian S. said...

beautiful type... strong cover. Perhaps it is not so communicative as to what era/time period it takes place in. That is my only complaint. Otherwise it is a nice twist on old typography and does set a serious tone. History repeating itself.

patriot said...

If it is so serious, so important to the moment, shouldnt it be set in the present?

Joseph said...

But history plays a crucial rule in understanding the present and shaping the future, doesn't it? If this doesn't work -- and I think it does -- it's infinitely better than a cover with a dopey photograph of Bush or a bunch of dictator photographs.

Daniel said...

Could you guys possibly... uh... analyze the design, typeface, latter spacing, etc.?

Joseph said...

Get us started, Daniel.

Tad said...

I liked this one when I first saw it. Now I'm thinking the effect would be a lot stronger if they had used historic design precedents without resorting to faux-historic fakery. Choose a type that has both text and display weights (that HFJ Didot wouldn't be so bad, right?), is utterly serious, and have at it. The latent kitsch factor would be nipped, and the cover would be, done right, perfectly commanding.

Arty Lake said...

The typography appears to be a version of Caslon, a font with which Benjamin Franklin was so enamored that the United States' own Declaration of Independance was typeset with it. The ALL CAPS and open letterspacing, generous leading, and ornamental rule all conjure forth the era of the birth of this nation. Likewise the appearance of old paper suggests a historic document. I have not seen the original, but wonder if it's been embossed to suggest letterpress, or was it set letterpress and then photographed to give a sense of historic authenticity. Note Caslon's italic A with it's skewed angle, lending a subtle sense of urgency. Once again, Carol Carson nails an intelligent, elegant design.

Arty Lake said...

Ooof. IndependEnce.

Ian Shimkoviak said...

Daniel never made it with his eloborations and expert advise on the type and composition of this piece...

Bummer, I was looking to get a second opinion...

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