Wednesday, 1 October 2014

My Favourite Book Cover: Theo Inglis

This month's book cover lover is Theo Inglis: graphic designer and mid century design enthusiast. Theo's blog is one of my inspiration go- to's so I was very excited to see what he'd pick and I have not been disappointed..

"As a booklover with a design history obsession, picking a favourite book cover is a very tough ask! I'm not sure I could pick a favourite period of design or even one designer, let alone a favourite individual cover. So I'm going to dodge it slightly and pick a book for its cover, content and significance to me as a designer.

I was lucky enough to grow up in a house full of books, and even luckier that a few of them were rare graphic design classics. 'Graphic Design: Visual Comparisons' by Alan Fletcher, Colin Forbes and Bob Gill was a real revelation and introduced me to some of the most significant designers of the 20th century. It also served as a brilliant introduction to ideas focused design, and the foreword features my all time favourite quote on graphic design: "Our thesis is that any one visual problem has an infinite number of solutions; that many are valid; that solutions ought to derive from subject matter; that the designer should have no preconceived graphic style."

Despite being written fifty years a go I feel this thesis is still true today, and it helps to explain why I love book cover design so much; there are always so many valid solutions, the subject matter is very rich and cover designers get to work in a variety of different styles as appropriate to each individual book.

Now on to the cover itself! The bold sans serif, white on black gives it the quintessential 1960's serious graphic design look. But the eyes, illustrated by Alan Fletcher, in 2 different colours are much more playful and naïvely done. They do however hint at a greater meaning (the importance of seeing perhaps?) and the contents of the book, which presents two contrasting images side by side on every spread. While getting the book out to write this I noticed the nice way it peeks out at the other books on the shelf. Overall I love the covers bold and simple mix of serious and playful, but I do have a bit of a thing for book covers that look back at you. (

I'm a London based graphic designer, booklover and wannabe cover designer, currently working in the world of branding and packaging. Despite earlier professing to not having a favourite period of design, I have a blog on Mid-Century Modern graphics which you can find here and a website here.
Thank you Theo!

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