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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Harvard Business Review Classics

Series design by Kelly Blair

Saw these slim volumes on a quick spin through Borders at the Orlando airport. There are 10 or so in all, I think, and it's a pretty cool series, especially for business books. See more here.

I'm especially fond (in a sort-of-twisted way) of Control In An Age of Empowerment. The book addresses exactly what you think it would: " to give employees the freedom to innovate while protecting your firm from loose cannons." But if that doesn't work: bosses, just sit on the offending employee until HR shows up :-) Seriously, though, these are fun and there's some good thinking behind the main images.


Mitch said...

I think these are outstanding! the circle-line illustrations are witty and well executed.

The last one, though - - I think its pattern isn't busy enough. Or maybe too busy?

It reads more as a neutral color than as anything geometric, so the bottom field looks empty (rather than populated with shapes, which is how the other covers look).

(To me, anyways.)

Katie Alender said...

I'm really impressed by how clearly the mirror image reads. Especially when you think about how simple the actual elements are.

Ian Koviak said...

love the patterns. Feels like some of the things David Pearson did for Ridley:

There is something very rigid and structured about using patterns that fits the business sensibility well.

The little images are very well thought out. Like a Picasso.

T-Bone said...

mmmm… sets

Anonymous said...

I think these are just fabulous although I think I might prefer them without the extra illustration.... but then again, I'm a sucker for a pretty pattern!

Jenners said...

Just stumbled across your blog and was instantly fascinated! What a great idea! I know that book covers and design influence me a lot as a reader. I've picked up several books to read based solely on the cover design so I think it truly makes a difference. (I've also unfairly judged a book based on its cover.) Checking out your blog also made me realize how "attached" I can get to a cover--when I see a book I love but without the cover that I had, I feel displaced. And some covers just stay with you forever. I read "The Great Gatsby" years ago but the cover (dark blue with a woman's dripping eyes, red lips and some lights at the bottom) is clearer to me than the story even. It made such a huge impression. If I see a copy of the book without this cover, I just don't feel right about it.

I plan to link to your blog on my blog about reading and book ( as I think the book design is such an important part of the reading experience.

I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on the Kindle if you have time. How would book design be affected if books end of going in this direction? I have a discussion about it on my blog and I'd love to hear your point of view. If you already posted about this (I didn't see it), my sincere apologies.

Anonymous said...

Big dot sitting on little dot (top) reminds me of looking down the barrel of a gun, which also works with the concept of managing employee empowerment.

Joseph said...

anon12:27: LOL.

Unknown said...

I love the design of this series. I've actually started reading Drucker's Managing Oneself and intend to read and collect the whole series. The collection is nice to look at, clean lines make it look professional yet the colors make it fun.