Sunday, 3 May 2015

judging books by covers...

The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien (Cover Design by Adam Busby)
There are no safe paths in this part of the world. Remember you are over the Edge of the Wild now, and in for all sorts of fun wherever you go.” - J.R.R. Tolkien
Lord of The Flies by William Golding (Cover Design by Jason Boher)
What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?” - William Golding
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Cover Design by Jason Boher)
You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” - Harper Lee
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby (Cover Design by Yvonne Liu)
What came first – the music or the misery? Did I listen to the music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to the music? Do all those records turn you into a melancholy person?” - Nick Hornby
A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle (Cover Design by Camille Chavana)
“Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.” - Madeleine L'Engle,
1984 by George Orwell (Cover Design by Adronaut)
Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.” - George Orwell
The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus (Cover Design by Peter Mendelsund)
Maybe this was the quiet before the real fucking quiet.” - Ben Marcus
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (Cover Design by Amelia Adysaputra)
Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.” - L. Frank Baum

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (Cover Design by Gabriele Wilson)
And the rest is rust and stardust.” - Vladimir Nabokov
On The Road by Jack Kerouac (Cover Design by Torsten Lindsø Andersen)
I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted.” – Jack Kerouac
Dog Ear by Jim Johnstone (Cover Design by David Drummond)
"At ten and two the heavens open – judge deferring to executioner, shrapnel reassembled, bearing the inscription KEEP CALM AND CONTINUE TO SIN." - Jim Johnston
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (Cover Design by Elizabeth Perez)
The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.” - Ray Bradbury
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (Cover Design by Jillian Tamaki)
If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” - Frances Hodgson Burnett,
 Death and the Flowers: Six Stories by Koji Suzuki (Cover Design by Peter Mendelsund)
"I then woke up my daughter, sat her on my knee, and filled her belly spoonful by spoonful much as a mother bird does for a child. During the monotonous routine I turned towards the bright sunshine out the window and went over the course of tasks planned for the day." - Koji Suzuki
Grimm Tales: For Young And Old by Philip Pullman (Cover Design by Cheong-ah Hwang)
The fairy tale is in a perpetual state of becoming and alteration. To keep to one version or one translation alone is to put robin redbreast in a cage.” - Philip Pullman

I've been thinking about books a lot recently. Primarily because of a small disaster involving my own collection of books.

A while ago, to put a dehumidifier behind a particular shelf, because that corner gets cold and I worry about my books getting damp and damaged. Having done it twice before, I had no qualms about it. No fear. Little did I know.

At the end of March, after putting up a new shelf and having space to to give my art and design books a shuffle around, I figured it would be a good time to change out the dehumidifier. It was probably full, and not really of any use any more, so I reached back and pulled out this strangely light container. It was empty. It was empty because the one I'd put in there had a crack in the bottom and while the absorbing rocks inside did their job, it just let the water run out onto my shelf, down my wall and into two shelves worth of my oversized art books.

Can you imagine the feeling, discovering those sodden, crinkled pages and puffed out hardbacks, the smell of damp and fusty edges?

Genuinely, I was a little heartbroken. Why does damaging, or losing, books feel so bad?

I love books. I'm not a big reader. Most of mine are art and design, craft and photography, but I've grown up in a house full of books. They're comforting. They're old friends who are always happy to see you.

You stand in the bookshop, fine choose between covers (no movie covers!), decide if the extra cost for a pretty hardback is worth it and they join the family. I even have favourites, that I have a copy I read and can dog ear and break spines and good copies I keep.

Which is little idiosyncrasy of mine, which I thought would appropriately fit with a few examples of interesting and beautiful cover redesigns and concepts.

In case you're interested... I've only read the first four. But they are four favourites.

UPDATE: 13/07/2015
Anyone who has previously read this post, may or not notice a slight alteration to it. In the removal of the cover design for Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, by Merilin Tota (via Behance). An anonymous comment pointed out, "Probably Merilin Tota copied the cover book from another place." 

So, a little confused and intrigued, I thought I'd investigate. That was last night, when the link I originally posted seemed to still be active and I did realise that Tota had, at very least, used a cover generator to photoshop in the cover design to a pre-photographed arrangement (I hadn't noticed two covers later in the gallery the image I noted as a similar set up, was in fact identical). So last night I left it alone, but it has niggled throughout the day, so again this afternoon I have had a look around and all signs of the cover have now been removed from Behance, as has Tota's gallery. 

For that reason, and because I can't guarantee it's provenance, I have removed the cover from my post and replaced it with Gabriele Wilson's Lolita cover design, in all it's handwritten loveliness.

It's a shame. I don't like removing things from posts, because, if I post it, I genuinely do think it's good, however I hate posting work belonging to one person under someone else's name. It's unfair and as a designer, it's incredibly upsetting when you see your work being recreated/credited to someone who has no involvement in it. Only thing I can equate it to is having your purse stolen. You never quite stop feeling dirty afterwards.

That said, if the design was Tota's or if anyone can correctly attribute the design, please let me know and I will direct anyone who's interested to the original source and I apologise to the incorrect attribution.

Sorry for the post dated ramble and edit. And thank you to the Anonymous commenter.

Link | The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien (Cover Design by Adam Busby)
Link | Lord of The Flies by William Golding (Cover Design by Jason Boher)
Link | To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Cover Design by Jason Boher)
Link | High Fidelity by Nick Hornby (Cover Design by Yvonne Liu)
Link | A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle (Cover Design by Camille Chavana)
Link | 1984 by George Orwell (Cover Design by Adronaut)
Link | The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus (Cover Design by Peter Mendelsund)
Link | The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (Cover Design by Amelia Adysaputra)
Link | Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (Cover Design by Gabriele Wilson)
Link | On The Road by Jack Kerouac (Cover Design by Torsten Lindsø Andersen)
Link | Dog Ear by Jim Johnstone (Cover Design by David Drummond)
Link | Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (Cover Design by Elizabeth Perez)
Link | The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (Cover Design by Jillian Tamaki)
Link | Death and the Flowers: Six Stories by Koji Suzuki (Cover Design by Peter Mendelsund)
Link | Grimm Tales: For Young And Old by Philip Pullman (Cover Design by Cheong-ah Hwang)

Listening: Beth/Rest (Rare Book Room) - Bon Iver


Anonymous said...

Probably Merilin Tota copied the cover book from another place.

Emily Boyd said...

I've had a look and have edited my post appropriately.

Thank you for your comment, I posted it in good faith, but have removed the image because, if I can't guarantee it's designer, I don't want it up. Even more so seeing Tota's Behance gallery has been removed, as has the book cover, in the space of 8 or so hours since I got your comment and checked my links last night. I am incredibly grateful for you bringing it to my attention.


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