Saturday, 5 May 2012

Book Design Scrapbook

An assignment for my course this year is keeping a scrapbook of book designs. This includes everything from the cover image to the binding to running headers to the use of images. In an effort to not print off copious amounts of colour images, I've chosen the digital format for my scrapbook - obviously. I'll be nice to some books, and slightly mean to others, but only if I really don't like them. Apologies in advance if anyone takes great offence to what I write. Hopefully I don't bore you all to death, and feel free to comment on any of them!
I figured the best way to start any scrapbook about books is to start with my favourite one. And yes, it is The Catcher in the Rye. Don't be mean. Holden helped me through some tough times in 7th form.
J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Little, Brown, 1951. Cover design by E. Michael Mitchell, author photo by Lotte Jacobi.
\Click on the images for a better view.
This is the first Book Club Edition of Catcher. Apparently Salinger asked for the photo to be removed from the back, and subsequent printing does indeed lack this. I like the idea of a picture of the author being somewhere in the book, and this photo of Salinger is a really nice one. However, considering his actions towards the public throughout his life it's not surprising he did.
I'm a big fan of this design. The cover image and spine easily catch the eye with the bright red and yellow, and anyone that has read the book will understand the significance of the carousal horseThe red and yellow are a theme in other editions - one of mine (published 1984) is a very plain red cover with the title in yellow. The use of a serif font for the text makes it easy to read, as well stand out.
The edition in most book shops around town at the moment is shown below.
Published by Penguin, 1994. Thanks to Mum for her excellent holding of the book.
I enjoy this design too. I feel it reflects the original design with the colours, and the faint lines reflect on the narrative style of the book. The very basic serif typeface that's used is perfect, just like in the top example. It mirrors the inside content as a narrative, and makes it so easy to read and follow. The more simple design of this (and other editions) of Catcher are a note on the popularity of the book, I feel. People will pick up this book not only because it has a simple yet eye-catching design, but also because of the title. Most people know of Catcher, whether they've read it or not.
The other edition I own of it is plain silver. Just silver. This was the first copy I read after Dad gave it to me, and the plain cover didn't bother me - I just wanted to read the book that supposedly killed John Lennon.

This post is slightly longer than most will be, but it will feature good and not so good designs. Feel free to give me any suggestions!


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