And so damn clever too.
For years now, publishers have taken one element of the cover visual and used it on the spine as some sort of signifier - a shorthand to remind us of the front cover and to harness the publicity that has surrounded it.
Here, Orion have chosen to reproduce the whole cover on the spine with title, author name and all.
It works an absolute treat.
They may have gone down this route because the actual cover lacks a distinctive icon — in fact what makes it work is simply the use of the bold blocks of colour to pull out the typography. But nonetheless, it is still a leap to decide to put the whole cover image on the spine.
It reminds us of when Vintage changed the game for referencing previous books by the same author when they introduced their cover for A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon.
Instead of using a quote like “By the author of …” they created a ‘sticker’ with a visual of his previous book. It was so much more effective as a memory trigger and indeed has been copied many times since.
These jumps forward in cover design by playing with different ways of building on author brand equity, using spontaneous awareness and prompting memory are how books cut through the clutter.
In this day and age it is more important than ever that designers work hard to exploit every opportunity. We congratulate the team who worked on this for opening up a new angle for others to build upon.