Judge a book by its cover

For this week’s covers I’ve chosen to go for typographic led covers for books. I’m sure at some point in the future I shall do a blog on fonts and what it says about you (I’m looking at you Comic Sans users!) but the below are a series of book covers which I feel use letters and words in inventive and expressive ways.

James Gleick, Time Travel, design by Peter Mendelsund

The design for Time Travel doesn’t need to rely on additional images to make its point. Mendelsund’s typographic design looks effortless. I like how evocative the print suggests the topic of the book without being obvious, and draws you into the cover.

Chuck Klosterman, But What If We’re Wrong?, design by Paul Sahre

A bit like when you get hold of another culture’s books, who may read in the opposite direction or from top down. There is a thrill of the surprise. I feel this cover does something similar. We are immediately taken out of our comfort zone that by being wholly wrong in every way, it feels utterly correct.

Alan Connor, The Joy of Quiz, design by Tom Etherington

This design is very clever. The entire cover is perforated into squares and on the front of each square is a question, while the answer is printed on the reverse, allowing you to tear up the cover to make a quiz. Even the price, design credit and ISBN have been turned into quiz questions. It shows you what you can do with a little imagination. I bet it cost a bomb to make and was an utter ball ache to design. But I am glad they followed through with it.

Stuart Dybek, The Start of Something, design by Suzanne Dean, art by Marion de Man

I still write with a pencil. I think I do it because it is the tool that lets my hand run free. I like to think of Susanne Dean, working through the night to chisel each of these little pencil nubs to create this cover. I also like the tongue in cheek self referential nature of the cover. The short stories, short pencils etc.

Mike Roberts, Cannibals in Love, design by Na Kim

This jacket is, in my opinion, one of the most perfect integrations of title and image I’ve seen. It manages to be abstract and representational of the topic and it is strangely, almost uncomfortably hypnotic. It makes me uneasy, I think due to the almost incisor like nature of the cuts that makes the lettering. Shocking and exciting.


Which typographic covers have stuck with you over the years?

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