Cover Crazy with designer Peter Mendelsund

Cover Crazy is hosted by The Book Worms. Each week, bloggers "admire the art and beauty of a book’s design, so I’m going to post minimal words. It is up to you to write how you feel and what you like about it the way you’d like to."

(This week's Mythological Monday post also features a book cover analysis, so jump on over for more book cover love!!)

Funny story:  When I took a technical writing course at the community college about a year ago, I had to create a how-to manuscript as the final project in the last series of classes.  I chose to focus on book cover design.  Good design, bad design, the elements of design, etc.  One of the designers I looked at and used as a "Good Example" was Peter Mendelsund.  I loved the way that, when I visited his website, it stated that he designed spines first and foremost, followed by book covers.

Mendelsund's style is unique and vast.  A lot of his covers utilize geometric shapes or bright colors; they're minimalistic, yet fun and full of clean lines.  And his spines!!  Oh, his spines!!  Because of Peter Mendelsund, I pay so much more attention to spine detail now!!  This past weekend, I was at the bookstore and saw someone about to buy A MILLION SUNS by Beth Revis.  I kind of squeed and said I'd bought it, too, and was excited to read it.  We started talking about books we liked in the genre and she mentioned a book I had actually heard of entitled THE FLAME ALPHABET by Ben Marcus.  The book was in stock, and as I looked at it, I thought to myself, "Hmm, this looks a lot like something Peter Mendelsund would design."  I flipped to the inside back flap and--wouldn't you know--Peter Mendelsund designed it!!  I was incredibly pleased with myself.  This is also a sign of how memorable the designer's style is.

I'd like to spend today's Cover Crazy honoring this talented, successful designer with a look at several of his covers (starting, of course, with the most popular ones that had me looking at him in the first place!):

Various Covers by Peter Mendelsund:

The most well-known of Peter Mendelsund's covers! Look at the novel way the design bisects the title and byline.

Did you know that the iconic silver cover we all know wasn't the original design for the third book in this series? Take a peek at what could have been! My guess is that the publisher thought it was TOO dark and gritty for people to pick it up. It's a lot more unique, though, and I like the way the image again bisects the title and byline. The final cover doesn't match the first two before it as well as it could!!

The book that started me thinking this weekend!See what I mean about a similar design? I like the way the image is bisecting everything else. It looks like a craft project!(And the book sounds pretty darn amazing, too. MUST READ!)

These two also reminds me of something crafty!  They have the same violent edge the original HORNET'S NEST did, too.  Minimalistic, yet telling so much!

I could go on and on because Peter Mendelsund has designed so many great titles, but instead, I'll leave you with two of my personal favorites by him.  

For THINGS WE DIDN'T SEE COMING, I love the way the cover continues on both sides (I also love the spine for this one!!) and you have to look at it a few times to take the entire cover in.  

For THE INFORMATION, I like how you think the words are repeating over and over again, but then you realize that there are other lines in there you're missing.  I also like the way the most important lines are in red, so they jump out at anyone who doesn't think the cover's nearly as witty as I do. :-)

If you want to see more of Peter Mendelsund's designs, check out his awesome blog Jacket Mechanical  or follow him on Twitter @mendelsund!

What do you think? What cover are you crazy about this week?


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