The pressure on the poor sod who had to design this cover must have been immense.
This wasn’t like designing the covers for Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey — Colossal bestsellers for sure, but no one had any idea at the time of briefing those covers that they were going to be so huge.
For this one however, the whole world was watching…and everyone at the publisher knew it.
There will have been more expectation and nervousness surrounding the briefing of this cover than perhaps any other — ever??
So how did they do?
Well, let’s be honest. No one is going to love this cover:
- It has no intrinsic warmth. Indeed, there is very little to engage with at an emotional level.
- The use of primary red and yellow is garish and loud (In fact, they are classic ‘old school’ retail sale colours)
- The lack of a ‘proper’ visual makes it cold and hard.
- And the type is simple but uninteresting.
Yet this is a strong cover.
Very bravely (given that that this was such a massive shift in genres for the author), the publishers didn’t try to ‘capture the story’ with their design. Instead they went all out to create something bold, symbolic and iconic.
They may have gone so far as to use words like ‘timeless’ when they agreed to go with this design though we would disagree with that view. If anything it is firmly rooted in the style of an American paperback from the late 1950’s.
Nevertheless, they have created a cover that is not only memorable, but that shouts at you as soon as you walk into a retailer or scan a set of thumbnails.
Cynical types will say that they could have put anything on this cover and it would have sold well.
While this is true, the publishers can hold their heads high for having created something that looks like nothing else on the market.