Design by Carin Goldberg
You might have heard of this book; if you haven't, you will. It remains to be seen if there's a more polarizing book published this fall season. If you're not familiar with it, read the description on the publisher's Web site.
Earlier this week, I twittered the following:
A number of my Twitter followers replied, and all of them encouraged me to post this for discussion. One noted that "design is about message, and this is a very excellent example of committing to a visual messsage using the most simple tools." I couldn't agree more. But what really stuck in my head was something someone else offered: "That's brave, expressively strong, yet quiet." It was the adjective "quiet" that stuck in my head as this design's most important attribute, probably because reaction to the book has been and will be anything but.
I wanted to know more, so I asked designer Carin Goldberg a few questions, and she was gracious enough to reply:
The BDR: Did you consciously design this with a sense of quiet or calm in mind? So much about it *is* quiet, even delicate: the colors, the weight of the female form, the type. Is your design solution a conscious effort to suggest "really...please give this book a chance?"
Carin Goldberg: Yes, the subject matter of this book is very sensitive and potentially controversial. And yes, of course it was important to design a cover that wouldn’t frighten the audience or misrepresent the author and her complex story. The design was not meant to provoke in an overt or gratuitous way.
The BDR: The tally marks are small and thin, but less quiet, and suggestive of more than just simply keeping count, espcially as they're placed on the body. Did you hesitate using the red tally marks as a design element?
Carin Goldberg: No, I never hesitated. They marks were my first idea. And yes, they are meant to have a double meaning, or maybe even a triple meaning. Not only do they tally the number of the abortions she has had and suggest a woman’s pubic area, but they might also be seen as prisoner tallies. The author was imprisoned by her psyche and by her compulsion to have multiple abortions.
I think Carin hit the nail on the head by stressing the need not to misrepresent the author and her story. In following that simple-to-understand but not always simple-to-produce idea, she's designed an amazingly effective and resonating cover.
What do you think?
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Design by Carin Goldberg