Judging A Book By Its Improved Cover

In the recent CTC review of Good Vibrations, Chris Peck noted ‘Never judge a book by its cover‘ before going on to extol the virtues of the read (‘I can’t recommend a better book for inspiration‘). Others have made similar comments about the cover (‘why choose a litter-strewn, graffiti-ridden photo for the cover image?‘ wrote one reviewer before saying how much they had enjoyed the book) and I have been won over by the argument that it does indeed need a facelift. I do have a problem however; the cover has become part of the brand and if I change it completely, I risk losing sales, no? So I’m on a mission to make improvements! Instagram gives good results but significantly reduces the quality of the image so although it may be OK to use it for a thumbnail image, it’s no good for the cover of the paperback. I’m working on that with online friends… In the meantime, this is what I have so far come up with; original (far left), cleaned (middle left), blurred & darkened Instagram picture (middle right) and (far right) a provisional (low quality) new cover. What do you think?

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Now I just need to sort out the complaints over the name…

8 replies »

  1. Sorry, Andrew, I’m with Isobel and the cat on this one. Check out the examples on this page:

    Just because a font exists, doesn’t mean you have to use it. Please remember we are offering the advice because we so admire the book and your efforts on the bike and the word processor. I think you must have been out on the bike when the lessons on typography and design were offered! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Norman

    • I’m not being in the least bit defensive about the book; everyone is entitled to their opinion and it’s great to hear them whether they concern the contents or the way in which they have been packaged. As I say in the post above, there is scope for improvement in the cover design – which is what I’m trying to do – but I need to be conscious of not throwing out the baby with the bathwater. It’s now actually quite difficult to change the cover as it exists in many places and to change all of them would be time consuming to say the least. What I can do however, is tweak the cover so it is still identifiable as Good Vibrations and slowly roll it out across all the platforms where it is available. Anne Mustoe benefits from a professional designer to do her cover for her and it does look good. Perhaps my second book might benefit from such expertise… ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I aM ok with the photo, and the title, but not the typography. Too brash. Compare with Wainwright covers and you may see what I am driving at. I am guessing your pupils know about this book. Could you offer it to the DT dept as a real design challenge?

What do you think?