Shop Indie Bookstores

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives

Design by Keenan

It's always fun to spot a book on the new books table that has a die-cut jacket; it's especially fun to discover whimsy printed underneath on the book itself.


18 comments:

caxtonian said...

Another great cover from Keenan.

Juan Pablo Cambariere said...

Excelent, is great when someone uses all the resources.

Jonathan said...

We're all very pleased with how it turned out. There are some die cut holes on the back too.

Joseph said...

Jonathan: Ah, I forgot to mention that. Thanks. I took a picture of the back but it couldn't be rescued...

ian shimkoviak said...

Another nice and timeless one by Keenan. I like the clarity and simplicity of the execution. It could have been a real mess. Great typography.

Anonymous said...

As a bookseller, I can tell you that cover is going to take a lot of damage. White covers show the dirt immediately and die cut holes quickly snag and tear the cover as the book is taken off the shelf and put back.

David Drummond said...

anonymous,

I hear this all the time. Thank god there are still clients out there that are still willing to say "what the *&%@, lets do it anyway"

Anonymous said...

What's so admirable about saying "What the %^*, let's design a product that is ill-suited to its use?" That's not some noble pursuit of ars gratia artis. That's just placing your own goals and interests above those of the job.

jason said...

What's admirable is that someone still realizes books (and consequently book design) are a cherished art form. The form a book takes when communicating its message can either enable or detract from the message. In this case a beautiful and clever concept engages the audience and assists in conveying the content within.

David Drummond said...

anonymous,

For the right idea, and this is one of them, the payoff offsets the slight risk of damage in-store.

Anonymous said...

To be crass and commercial for a moment, most sales of books are in the big chain stores. A high profile book, or one that the publisher agrees to pay for front of store placement, is on par with movies. They make their money in the first few months while on the tables. After that you're on to second or more printings and the special effect may be eliminated, or the book just doesn't sell and is remaindered or returned to the publisher.

A good designer will integrate an effect to help sales. Otherwise it's a gimmick and fails. We try not to use effects unless they are useful to getting the book into a reader's hands.

Anonymous said...

How well does a torn and/or dirty-looking book engage the audience?

Anonymous said...

Frankly, this book looks just as good without the jacket.

By the time it becomes "a torn and/or dirty-looking book" it's at the end of the cycle, and would probably be returned. Also by that time, if there is a second printing, it will be on the shelves eliminating your concern of being too delicate.

mog said...

I like it.

I first viewed it on my Palm, and I "got" the "random" bit before I noticed the line, so the line strikes me as perhaps unnecessary. But I'm a bit of an anagram nerd so I'm not sure if the general public would have picked it up (although maybe they might have after they took off the jacket).

The only other beef I have with this cover - and it's quite a minor one - is that the cover under the jacket, while beautiful (love the red!), doesn't really have anything the jacket doesn't have, making the whole die cut thing seem a little unnecessary. I would have tried moving the "line" that connects the dots from the jacket to the cover itself, to sort of form the punch line for people who don't "get" it after seeing the jacket alone.

mog said...

When I said "love the red" in regards to the cover under the jacket, I was referring to the purple spine. I know my colors, honest! :-)

Anonymous said...

radnom?

I'm not seeing great typography here.

PF said...

As a bookseller of new and used books I especially like dust jackets that are easily damaged (i.e., with cut-outs) or glossy jackets that are very susceptible to rubbing wear (i.e., McCarthy's The Road and Dawkins's The God Delusion). I get the first printings in pristine condition, wait for them to become collectible, and then list. It's a very profitable game, especially since most of the copies you find online have flaws.

Dystopos said...

I would expect that small circular holes are less prone to snag-and-tear than any other size or shape of cut.