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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Type Only

I'm Eve Siegel, filling in for Joe. I've been wondering how other book cover designers approach the assignment of "type only" cover design. Here are three that are probably known to all of you. I love the fact that all three convey a strong concept using only type, or type and color. And maybe that's always the answer—concept first, and it doesn't necessarily matter if you have a photo or illustration.

Designer: gray318

Designer: Jennifer Carrow

Designer: Peter Mendelsund

If all else fails, I could try these folks, and get the type in mustard, chocolate, leaves, or any number of materials.

What's your approach to this kind of assignment?


Lola said...

oh, love these

Ian Koviak said...

I love a strong, all type idea. I think it is hard to do and made all that much more harder by the fact that most publishers, when asking for an all-type treatment, mean that they want bold letters taking up the whole page. I think some covers lend well to the concept of all type and other end up feeling as if something is missing. All three of these are ideas that are fairly easy to convey with all type... Channel is an all type label. Putting the type in the shape of a smile must have been tried out many a time in the world of graphic design. And the idea of parts of letters separating away form the "group" is also not a notion that is far fetched.

I think it depends on the topic. really.

Camille said...

I'm not particularly a book designer. I love the "Against Happiness" book cover by Carrow. It makes superb use of space, typeface and layout. I think that's about it really. The font itself doesn't have to be stylistic to work.

While the first and third ones are also well-designed, they can't compete with the noise of images in a bookstore shelf unless the text are laid out in a way that's telling and expressive like the second one.

Eve said...

Ian, I must admit that it is also my tendency to first want to fill up the entire cover with type, mostly out of panic that I don't have an image. Posting these covers has been a good lesson to me that that approach doesn't work as well as stepping back and thinking about the content of the book.

Anonymous said...

darn that i dont usually pick a book up based on its cover, usually i trust my favourite reviewers - but seriously, i would have seriously considered all three.

i think it is easier to continue reading a book with a good cover, else you just push it out of your sight...