Shop Indie Bookstores

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Bright Shiny Morning, US and UK editions

UK edition by Gray 318

New fiction from James Frey. Yes, that James Frey. Insert your own joke.

But on to the design: It seems almost axiomatic that a novel described as a "tour de force" sports a cover that is often well-crafted, but ultimately signifies very little. Indeed, what's a designer supposed to do with the story of:

"...a bright, ambitious young Mexican-American woman who allows her future to be undone by a moment of searing humiliation; a supremely narcissistic action-movie star whose passion for the unattainable object of his affection nearly destroys him; a couple, both nineteen years old, who flee their suffocating hometown and struggle to survive on the fringes of the great city; and an aging Venice Beach alcoholic whose life is turned upside down when a meth-addled teenage girl shows up half-dead outside the restroom he calls home."

Whew. I'm tired just reading the description. US on top; UK on bottom.

UPDATE: Designer of the UK edition Gray 318 says: "The type was drawn up first and then taken to a sign store and made up. The whole sign is about A2 size, so there are some incredibly intricate turns in there. A truly amazing skill." Thanks Jon!


8 comments:

sixfive said...

a great job on the UK cover, the US, I don't really know what to think. Something needs to be different, maybe the point size or weight of 'James Frey'. It's not the simplicity that bothers me, it just seems not that well thought out.

ian shimkoviak said...

The neon light cover is absolutely wonderful and gives me an immediate sense of those wee morning hours strolling by some store...

Not to mention: How the hell did they do those letters???? I assume in PS, but maybe, just maybe, did the designer get the letters actually done at a light shop specially for this cover??? That would be pretty cool.

Joseph said...

Yeah, it really looks like the UK is real neon, doesn't it? And it certainly does suggest nighttime, when you would think all of this humiliation, etc would be more likely to occur ;-)

Jonathan said...

The US cover looks insecure, on the part of the publisher. It has no presence.

gray318 said...

The type was drawn up first and then taken to a sign store and made up. The whole sign is about A2 size, so there are some incredibly intricate turns in there.
A truly amazing skill.

The Book Designer said...

nice nice work John...

Katie Alender said...

The US cover strikes me as... penitent? Does that make sense?

Christian in NYC said...

The US cover screams "safe".

Stock photo + bland sans serif = yawn

And shouldn't there be some text saying "This time it's ALL made up!"


The UK cover is more interesting on every level.