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Friday, May 08, 2009

Valkyrie

Design by Jason Booher
Buy this book from Amazon.com

This design is as sharp and focused as the laser sight dot on Hitler's head. Anachronistic? I don't care. Brilliant. UPDATE: Designer Jason Booher wrote in to say the dot is "not literally anything; just an abstraction of the idea of killing him."

(Blogger's compression is really killing the dot. Here's a clearer image.)

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jason Booher is the designer

Joseph said...

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

could cross hairs have been added?

Marlo D. Cruz said...

I don't know, the dot looks too big. Almost like a bad photoshop. I think it would've worked better if it was a small dot, almost like an easter egg.

Joseph said...

Anon 9:55: I'm glad not to see crosshairs on this. I like the minimalism of the dot.

Marlo: if the dot's really meant to be from a laser sight, then yes, it's too big. But I'm ok with this being less than super-realistic. Perhaps we can just think of the dot as meaning "marked for death."

Andrew Wheeler said...

I'm not fond of this one -- it looks like someone wacked Hitler upside the head with a gumdrop.

Crosshairs may be a cliche, but they'd be historically accurate and get across the point more clearly. The little red dot only really reads as a laser pointer when it moves, and a book cover doesn't have that luxury.

Anonymous said...

laser sighting in the 1940s?

Joseph said...

That's why I called it anachronistic :-)

Heisenberg said...

It's not the anachronism that bugs me, it's the size of the red dot. Laser sights put a much smaller dot and this cover would have benefited from the subtlety

Ian Shimkoviak said...

Doesn't get better than this: Booher effectively made a cover that begs to be picked up and he did not have to use cliche objects like cross hairs, guns, eye-patches, and full frontals of Adolf. Bravo! The cover creates a sense of tension that all these other things would have made so dismissable and trite.

Great cover. Great image.

King Friday said...

Layout is great, BW photo and type are smooth, sophisticated and understated. Then there's the dot. I get it, and the red certainly draws your eye, but then it becomes the only thing you can see and quickly kills the rest of the layout. Clever, but not brilliant.

Wendy said...

You could have done without it, in my opinion, hmm...

mhjenny said...

I might be picking a nit here, but since they were not planing to shoot Hitler but blow him up the laserdot/crosshair thingie doesn't really make sense.
I like the cover for the perspective and intimacy. It feels as if you were standing right behind him and this rings true since it was an inside plot.

Design Jack said...

The dot is great regardless of historical accuracy, it serves two purposes, getting a bit of colour in there and giving the reader a sense of what the story involves. I love the combination of grayscale and spot colour. Crosshairs wouldn't draw a passer by in, which is the purpose of the cover, not accuracy necessarily. Nice.

Salles said...

Good Idea, Bad execution.

T-Bone said...

Beautiful type and image… i think it would say so much more sans 'dot'. The shadowy figure on the left says it all.

Anonymous said...

somebody should be spanked for the subtitle--the "its" has no referent.

not fond of the dot, either. it's too big, and since i can't take it seriously as a laser sight, i think of it as a zit.

nate s. said...

Ultimately, this book cover has caused a lot of buzz, so I'd say it did its job.

Bravo for the publisher not using an image of Tom Cruise on this cover.

Jason Booher said...

The dot really was a suggestion of the urge to put a bullet in Hitler's head. Not a laser sight nor a head wound, not literally anything; just an abstraction of the idea of killing him. It's certainly not a new formal move, but it made sense to me. There were a few different stalled attempts at assassinating the heads of state, and one of the not-so-famous moments in which the conspirators came closest to killing Hitler (the most dramatic moment of the book) was at a small dinner at the eastern front army headquarters, where eight separate people were to stand up and shoot him in the head. It was called off at the last moment because Himmler did not also attend as was scheduled.

Joseph said...

Jason, thanks so much for jumping in here.

Anonymous said...

The letter spacing seems off... especially between K and Y

thomas said...

I love the combination of grayscale and spot colour. Crosshairs wouldn't draw a passer by in, which is the purpose of the cover, not accuracy necessarily.Berkey Filters

agrayspace said...

The real problem is that this was already done (more masterfully) on a cover of a book about the assassination of MLK. Don't know the title but you should look it up.