Designing a book cover is an exercise in balance. The image or graphic has to distill the story without giving away the plot. It has to create “shelf presence” to entice shoppers to pick up the book for a closer look. It has to avoid false advertising, but can’t be boring, even if the content is. It should give shoppers a sense of the genre – suspense, sci-fi, romance, self-help, current events – but imply that the author has a unique and fascinating take on the subject. While it is true that “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” it is also true that you can design a cover that makes shoppers want to buy the book. This video from Random House features interviews with book designers from its publishing groups (Random House, Knopf Doubleday and Crown) providing insights into the complex process of creating compelling, eye-catching and meaningful book cover jackets.
Current TV, the media company started by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and businessman Joel Hyatt, has launched a new logo designed by Wolff Olins and animation house GHAVA. Replacing the static pixelated identity created by Meta Design and Peter Saville in 2005 (contemporary for its time), the waving Current logo is meant to be viewed in motion, or at least to imply that it is in motion. Unlike traditional logos, the Current identity takes advantage of the technological capabilities of the broadcast medium. Dropped out of whatever background is behind it, the name undulates like a flag, leaving the borders and proportions loosely defined. The logo itself uses a familiar compressed modern gothic font and foregoes any use of proprietary colors. As flat graphics, it’s pretty simple. What makes it special is that movement isn’t used as an afterthought, but as the essence of its uniqueness.