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Friday, December 21, 2007

The Learners

Illustration by Charles Burns, lettering by Chris Ware

Chip Kidd's second novel The Learners comes out in February. Here's the final cover (different from what's on Amazon).

Augusten Burrough's blurb made me chuckle: "any novel that includes the phrase, 'bloated dirtpig' and features the beloved Milgram Experiments earns a place on my shelf." Me too. There's a little bit more about the book here.

UPDATE: Reader Jonathan notes: "the red part there is the dust jacket. The black and white illustration is actually the cover itself. And the circle of 'The Book After The Cheese Monkeys' corresponds with the rest of the illustration. It's really quite elegant." Thanks for that, Jonathan!


Buy this book from Amazon.com

15 comments:

Matt said...

Love how "The Learners" shapes out the nose and the circle of type forms an open mouth.

jonathan said...

What's really cool (and I hope I'm not ruining the surprise here) is that the red part there is the dust jacket. The black and white illustration is actually the cover itself. And the circle of 'The Book After The Cheese Monkeys' corresponds with the rest of the illustration. It's really quite elegant.

Tal said...

This is fun. Chip definitely has a thing for making faces on his covers, like his covers for Birthday:

http://www.amazon.com/Birthday-Koji-Suzuki/dp/1932234829/ref=pd_sim_b_img_3

and even Hero:

http://www.amazon.com/Hero-Perry-Moore/dp/1423101952/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1198266905&sr=1-1

Joseph said...

Jonathan: thanks for that detail; I didn't know that.

springer said...

Aesthetically, I like the effects Kidd (and other designers) produce with these half jackets, but as a reader and bookseller, I usually find them tremendously annoying. They make shelving difficult, and they're far too easily ruined by normal handling.

Given what can be accomplished by printing directly onto covers these days, I'd be perfectly content to do away with dust jackets entirely.

tony said...

Kidd released this entire story online back in 2004 on the USA Today website (http://tinyurl.com/2rov9w).

It's unfortunate the story isn't that great. The cover is wonderful, and if I didn't know how awful the story inside it was, I'd probably end up buying this book in a heartbeat.

Yes, I choose books by their covers sometimes.

jonrussell said...

The cover on Amazon is the cover that was used for the 2004 USA Today weekly PDF release. Only the first 7 chapters were released in 2004. Does anyone know if this book is any longer?

Anonymous said...

Lets be honest guys. This is not a good cover. The type is a mess. I sort of wish we could dispense with the Chip Kidd idolatry and judge the cover strictly on its merits and this one has few.

beauGeste

Fifi said...

Hm, I like the type. I think it works for what Kidd is trying to accomplish.

Fifi said...

Hm, I like the type. I think it works for what Kidd is trying to accomplish.

mog said...

I like it too. And I don't worship Kidd at all (his assertion that the Kindle will fail because of its limited font palette is ridiculous. The Kindle might fail, but not because of that).

bellaco said...
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adam brown said...
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alan said...

the hard lines of "chip kidd" are reflective of glasses frames (don't forget the eyes/"i"s in the middle). the scripty flow and triangular build of "the learners" embodies a nose. the "cheese monkeys" circle is very mouthlike. it's the face we only partially see from beneath the dustjacket. i like the type just fine.

alan said...

don't know if anyone will see this post, but i got my copy of this yesterday. i had high expectations, and they were completely blown out of the water by this book. it has been handled extremely well with subtleties throughout the book as well as on the cover. i highly recommend this to anyone with an interest in what works with book design.