penelopeThis is a deceptively rich cover, laden with communication.

At the most basic level it looks ‘different’, which in itself is no mean feat.

More importantly, however, it delivers an enormous sense of the story and wonderful tonal nuances about the lead character with the bare minimum of detail.

As with any book that takes the main character’s name as its title, the designers will have been forced down a particular track. Who is she, and why should readers care?

In this case, the juxtaposition of a photograph of a young woman with unexpected, Disney-like cartoon imagery all around her whispers ‘innocent, naive and charming’.

This is a young woman who is clearly out of step with expectations (a fish out of water) and we all know that is a recipe for humour and chaos.

Job done.

The blurb simply needs to deliver the setting (Harvard University) and we know exactly what we are in for with this book.

The fact that the publishers did not resort to using a strapline is testament to the power of this design. For that alone, they deserve our congratulations.

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