This week we dedicate our home page to an old paperback found in a second hand book stall. What can we learn from book packaging of the past in order to help us in today’s recessionary hit, digital era?
This is beautiful.
Utterly distinctive, bold and memorable.
Everything about this cover feels fresh and confident. (Especially when one compares it to current book packaging).
The author name for a start doesn’t take up half the cover. Yes, he’s a big and famous writer but sometimes the best way to demonstrate this is to be more modest.
Look at the publisher logo: Brazenly placed in the top right hand corner. Publishers would kill to be able to do this nowadays.
Many people think that Penguin are ‘lucky’ to have such a potent consumer brand — They fail to recognise that it only came about because Penguin were supremely disciplined in manging their brand identity across everything they produced and over a period of decades. Covers like this were no exception (no matter how famous the author might have been)
Then there is the typography — very ‘of the period’ perhaps but still cool.
And of course the visual. No cliches here. Just a brightly coloured flash of lips.
Two lips in fact, one encased in the other — somehow communicating two kisses yet not being obvious in any way at all.
The only thing that we might recognise in this cover is the fact that they have used a bold iconic image on a black background — And crucially…given it the space to breathe.
(See our post on Publishing Phenomenons from Twilight; to Hunger Games; to Fifty Shades of Grey to see just effective this can be)
If only publishers today had the confidence to look as though they weren’t so desperate. Maybe we’d get back to covers like this.
Covers that stop shouting at us and start touching us a little bit more.