Archives for category: United States

Designer: Paul Bacon

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Similar to the previous cover, the “Big Book Look”, a style with a large title, a large author’s name and a small symbolic image, defined by Paul Bacon in 1950s creates an expressive atmosphere with simple elements. Compulsion is the most iconic of all. I like the tension among the letters in the rough, hand-drawn style. “a novel by” is in a thinner, scripty font and it balances off the bold type in the title and the author name nicely. I like the contrast between the light grey wall and the two little orange-red men.

Something Extra:

100 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design #76

The Man With the Big Book Look by Steven Heller


Designer: Peter Mendelsund

Publisher: Pantheon

Yet another beautiful cover from Peter Mendelsund. A cover that will catch your attention. Filled with words but it is a simple cover that coveys that theme of the book: information overload. Even within the sea of texts, you can easily spot the title and author: The Information by James Gleick, which is in red, a color often use to indicate importance. A History, A Theory, A Flood inserted in between The Informations leave some breathing room on the page and make it less overwhelming.

Designer: David Pearson

Publisher: Penguin

We are all familiar with the classic penguin cover. And here is a book about the penguin books. David Pearson designed this book cover using the spine of Penguin books to build the classic cover. It is a cool way to present a book talking about the iconic Penguin books and their history. The design is so iconic that even without a obvious “penguin” on the cover, everyone know it is a book about Penguin books at their first sight.

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Typeface: Gill Sans


Designer: Gray 318

Publisher: Penguin

I like the combination of the teeth of the wheel and chess. And all the different silhouettes combine together to make a very lovely book cover. I especially like the little man on top of the middle wheel.

Gray318, or Jonathan Gray, is most famous for his book cover design with hand typography. We will surely look at some other of his work in the future.

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The UK Cover

**I read from blogs that both covers share styles similar to Kara Walker, who creates awesome artworks!

Designer: David Drummond

Publisher: Anchor

It is a smart cover that shows the idea of “small crime”. With only the “l” missing, it contrast “small crime” and “abundance”. I also like the hierarchy of the type with some of them italicized. Just a simple and conceptual book cover.

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Typeface: Baskerville

David Drummond’s blog

Designer: Alvaro Villanueva

Publisher: Soft Skull Press

How do you appropriately show inappropriateness? This book cover gives you an answer. I have never read the book but from its cover, you can tell it’s going to be funny/witty. There is really not much to say about it because cover really says it all. I really like the color treatment of the type. It pops but doesn’t distract viewers from *the point*.

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Alvaro Villanueva on design:related

Designer: David Gee
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

From the title of the book, you can tell it is an interesting book. It has a fun cover too! It combines beer and history in a fresh way: a tipsy picture of a Canadian Mountie. I mean a picture you will see when you look at the Canadian Mountie while you are tipsy. I like the concept a lot.

However, I don’t like type treatment nearly as much. There are too many things going on. Each line has a different typeface, with two of them having a shadow, and “Beer in Canada” looks squeezed. And I don’t think the lines above and below the author’s name are necessary either.

David Gee is a part-time designer and his “day job” is an advertising copywriter.

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David Gee’s Blog

Q&A with David Gee

Designer: David Pearson
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd

I like this book cover it features the silhouette of Lincoln in a nice way. The purple background adds some color to the design without distracting the black and white contrast between the shadow and the type. The type is articulated in such a way that it forms part of Lincoln’s face. This book cover is interesting and pleasing to the eye.

David Pearson is an awesome designer and typographer. There are a lot of brilliant typography treatments in his designs. We will look at his other designs in the future.

Something extra:

Typeface: Poplar

David Pearson’s site

Q & A with David Pearson, David Pearson Design

Interview with David Pearson


Other covers in the Penguin’s Great Idea series designed by David Pearson:

Designer: Peter Mendelsund
Publisher: Knopf

I would like to start this blog with one of my favorite books for the past few years, which also happens to have one of the best book cover designs. Read the rest of this entry »