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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Veganomicon

Designed by Alex Camlin

I'm no vegan, but is using colors that remind one (or me, at least) of straw and mold the best way to spread the gospel of vegan deliciousness? I don't think so.

42 comments:

PamelaCooks said...

I like the design! It reminds me of a jungle or a forest or something. Stop hating.

Anyway, I would suggest getting this book. Moskowitz and Romero have already published 2 excellent books. This one was a long time in the making. Their style of cooking appeals to vegans but also to people who are not vegan, like yourself.

Anonymous said...

maybe it was designed that way to deter cynical people like you (thats how it worked out at least) i find the book appealing in many aspects

Joseph said...

What design, business or philosophical interest is served by "deterring cynical people?" Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Anonymous said...

It reminds me of basil, dill, kale, spinach, and wheat. Hmm. I thought it was the recipes and the writing that spread the gospel. How on earth did I not notice the straw and mold?

Keep reaching for the stars, Joe.

Francois Tremblay said...

So veganism is a cross between death cults (the name is a pun on "Necronomicon") and mold?

After having talked to a few vegans, that sounds about right to me...

Joseph said...

As to the color of wheat, you're right. I just think the greens are odd, and that using more color would be a better representation of the spectrum of what vegans eat.

B.A.D. said...

I like the colours and scheme of the design, it's simpler, clean and interesting.

miles said...

"So veganism is a cross between death cults (the name is a pun on "Necronomicon") and mold?"

Strong words from the idiot that trolls suicidefood looking for fights. And thanks for enlightening us ignorant masses on the origin of the name.

Crawl back in your hole.

Tooma said...

I must say, sadly aren't a vegan nor even a vegetarian so cant comment on the food aspect.
but the design itself is quite calming, something which is nice whilst looking at my cluttered and overtly loud shelf of cookery books. Plain is the way! Keeps the kitchen neutral.

LMG said...

I love the cover! It reminds me of the earth and that makes me think of the fact that vegans help the earth everyday they make their food choices.

etre_productif said...

I also think the colors are bit muted for a vegan cookbook. On the rare occasions that I actually seek out vegetables, the more brightly colored they are, the more I want to eat them. And also, dear friends, let us separate our diets from our opinions of cover designs. 'Tis possible to eat the vegetable and not admire the cover of the book and vice versa! (Also, if I ever saw basil, kale, or dill in that green color, I certainly wouldn't eat it or buy it.)

Anonymous said...

It doesn't remind me of straw and mold in any way. I've had the cookbook since it came out a month ago, and not only do I think the cover is nice (reminds me of a forest or jungle); the recipes are amazing- just like their two other books!

Anonymous said...

why do i get the feeling prickly friends of the designer or author have been writing in this thread?

they are, undeniably, the colours of straw and mould. why is that not a valid point?

Anonymous said...

I agree with the sentiments about the colours.

I think the main problem is that the greens have too much blue in them, which leafy comestible plant is blueish green? probably algae and yeah.. mold.

It doesn't help either that the graphics clearly represent plants in a natural state, not a "domesticated" comestible one . Not a lot of people are enticed by looking at a shrub, "it may have dirt and bugs in it".

Seems like they tried to evade the usual cookbook tropes, but in the process forgot to alude to the sense of taste (in food)of the cosumer.

This thread seems to become a sample of the result, great results with the home base, but not so much with omnivores. The uppitiness doesn't help either.

Ash said...

I'm fine with the cover, I just still am disappointed about the lack of unicorns that were on the Isa draft cover. That will never forgiven.

Ash said...

*Never be forgiven. God I need sleep.

Jeff the chef said...

a (barely) two sentence review?!Come on! If you are going to call the site "The Book Design Review" you need to step up your game.

Anonymous said...

Never judge a book by the cover. Ever. This book just happens to be one of the best cookbooks, vegan or otherwise, on the market today. Anyone who is deterred from vegan food because of the cover is an idiot.

Joseph said...

jeff the chef: there are many posts in which I write lots more -- perhaps too much :-) if you are new, welcome, and have a look around.

Anonymous said...

Aw, I like the colors. I think the cover is pretty. Plain, sure, but a lot more attractive than the cover of most cookbooks.

Joseph said...

And that's a nice point; I too like the non-cookbookishness of this.

B.A.D. said...

Do we know who designed the cover yet?

Joseph said...

nope, but I'll try to find out asap. Owners of the book, any help?

Eileen said...

Like the cookbook- not crazy about the color.

I also think the green has too much blue. It is leaning towards bread mold spore greeny-blue which does not make me hungry.

Marie said...

Dude, that cover reminds me of psychedelic lsd trips with lots and lots of vegetables. The colors are fresh and vibrant.

Anonymous said...

The colors are flat out dead. There's nothing that suggests the life-giving power of the vegatable.

Also, calling your vegan cookbook "Veganomicon" is probably not the most effective way of a) making converts and b) maintain adherents.

Death cult, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Leaves. Muted colors. Doesn't really make me hungry. For solely this reason alone, I think this fails as a cookbook cover. Also, the title is stupid, however "catchy" or unique. ["Cryptonomicon" is a SciFi epic and that's all I could think about. . . is this book for paranoid cyber-vegans?]

Ideally, a cookbook makes you hungry, makes you want to cut up vegetables and cook stuff, right? This one doesn't. It's all aiming at the head, not the gut. I think the publisher mis-shot badly with this direction.

Christian in NYC

Suane said...

Some people just don't get art.

It's my favourite cover of her three books.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you're going to get Isa to respond to this or anything, but she said something about previous versions being worse at making the design and title connection.

I really like the title Veganomicon. It's really fun to say and made me laugh once I found out what it was based on. I don't think the cover matters so much for this book, because most people who know about Isa and Terry would buy it no matter what the cover was like because unlike other cookbooks, rarely do their recipes fail (They even had testers all over the world for this one). If someone was interested in this book at the store, I think they would probably skim it and look at the pictures inside, which are pretty fantastic.

B.A.D. said...

I'm sorry but I love the title, it's hilarious and awesome. Not to mention the goods inside, dear lord anyone without this book is missing out. One look at Flickr and it'll all make sense.

supercarrot said...

the name is going to catch the eye of people who have good senses of humor.

included in that is the fact that it's totally a textbook. (in look and feel)

i agree that the greens are a little too blue, but so are some greens prior to being cooked. broccoli and kale definitely have a bluish bloom to them. nothing wrong with that.

i don't know how good the design would look if it was covered with onion skins. i have a feeling the authors made a wiser choise with making it look like a textbook. it surely says "the ultimate vegan cookbook" to me.

alan said...

pretty sure the designer is Josh Hooten. i'll let you know for sure tomorrow.

alan said...

also, i like the design. the interior carries the muted green and gold of the cover throughout the text and in the illustrations, giving it a mid century feel. and, as stated above, it stands out from every other cookbook out there due to its lack of a foodcentric image on the front. it looks a lot nicer in person. it looks a lot nicer in person, too.

Anonymous said...

This was a hellish book jacket. Six different designers worked on dozens of comps. It was heavily directed by editorial. Isa wanted it to be black and kind of goth. So, it the end, it turned out better than expected.

theotherwayne said...

Sometimes a cover is just a cover. This one is just bad art. But as to the veggie religion, a quote from a man named Herbert Spencer, presumably the 19th century British philosopher, evolutionist, and sociologist is appropriate:

“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”

Now back to my baloney and cheese sandwich.

Jackson said...

I think that beyond the color choices this cover does a good job (to its credit- it is more vibrant in person). The book itself is a bit larger and wider than most other vegan cookbooks and the cover stock has a nice feel to it. It really stands out and looks rather nice on a bookstore shelf. Also, I think the design is more accessible than Moskowitz's other titles.

mog said...

I know the color green is kind of a vegan/environmetalist cliche, but I do wish the green was, um, greener.

Sadly, I do buy the story that the cover was designed by multiple designers who all wanted to take it in different directions, because it doesn't really go anywhere. I would have actually preferred a goth black and red (or black and green?) to this, because that would actually say something (and fit the title). Plus, that might attract people who wouldn't normally think about picking up a cookbook, or at least a vegan one. This? It's like one person wanted a dark cover, and the other person wanted a bright cover, so they met in the middle, in muddy muted land. And I hate the title font.

And LOL @ the "anonymous" who is upset that we're judging the book by it's cover. Um, this is the Book Design Review. We don't judge books by their covers, because we don't judge books. We do judge covers by their covers. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm not vegeterian or vegan and to be honest this book looks more like "The History Of Vegans" or "A Study In Veganomics" than a cookbook. This style with silhouettes & floral vectors + calligraphic type is done to death and gives a too serious if not cold feel to it. It's not making me want to try anything in there as its colour combinations are too faded and remind me nothing even remotely close to the notions of "fresh" or "natural". If it were written in a language I couldn't decipher there's no way I'd think it had to do with food. It could be a study on plastic surfaces or an architecture expo catalogue but a cookbook it doesn't look like at all. Yes, we don't have to follow the rules all the time but we don't automatically succeed if all we do is just break them.

alan said...

cover designer: Alex Camlin

Anke said...

so, I'm vegan. I just got the book. I don't like the cover either. but you know what? this is the best cookbook (vegan or not) I've ever had.

Adrian Denegar said...

Whatever happened to just a nice, simple, colourful photo of some delicious-looking vegetable?

Anonymous said...

I think the problem is, the book has mediocre cover...It shouldn't be in the book design review in the first place. (I'm talking about the cover) not the content. If an author has proven his craft in previous works, a mediocre cover will do. But if I haven't heard about the author, and haven't done research on vegan food...I'll probably buy something else with a more enticing cover...that's how stupid I am :)