Monday, 16 February 2015

OUGD406 - Brief 02 - Study Task - Book Cover Analysis

Who Designed the cover, are there any links between them and the book?

I searched within the book and the internet and couldn't find anywhere obvious who actually designed the cover for this book. It is likely that Paul Arden himself designed the book cover, as it is not overly complicated or ambitious in terms of technicality of design skill, but to me this cover is highly appropriate and successful and definitely communicates the messages held within its pages certainly to me. It is also likely that an in-house designer at the publishers may well have designed this cover and wrap around sleeve

What is the intended message?

The cover relies completely on typography and it's intended message is to force the reader to think differently and approach things in a different way. As the reader you have to think differently when confronted with this design and for some people it is actually quite a challenge to read the title of this book purely as the type has been inverted. You get the idea that this book is going to challenge your preconceptions and routines and it definitely does that so for me that is what the intended message is within the design. Furthermore, the fact that the design is entirely monochrome suggests to me an additional message: don't complicate things for yourself in life, simplicity is the key to success, especially in an industry such as graphic communicate design and advertising. Black and white suggests a certain way of thinking and doing, keeping things in check and keeping things simple will allow you to be successful. This combined with opposite thinking and pushing you to your limit is what Paul Arden is shouting about in the book. In addition, the use of a tall, sleek sans serif again suggests sophistication and consistency. The type used on the cover is used throughout the book, reflecting Arden's maturity and awareness of consistency. 

What are the semiotics behind this message and how/why have they been used to support the message/content?

There are no illustrations or photographs used on this particular cover design so in that sense there are no semiotics. However, there are semiotics associated with the use of the typography here. By simple reversing the direction of the type and inverting it suggests a different way of thinking and is forcing the reader to approach the design in a different way to which they may have approached it if it used conventional type. The semiotics here are all about challenging the norm and going literally in the opposite direction to the crowd. 

Is the cover successful in communicating this message/content?

For me this cover design is extremely successful purely as it is so simple and minimalist - but that is what the whole book is about. The book its self is not exactly text dominant, it is a mixture of imagery and advise and I think the lack of imagery on the cover makes the book mature and enticing and would definitely make me want to pick it up and have a read if it was on a bookshelf. The title dominates the design making it very clear to see what the book is about. There are no pieces of unnecessary information and no imagery. The authors name is clear and so is the publishing logo. 

Are there any counter-arguments, if so how could this be better communicated?

You could argue that the lack of imagery makes the design boring and many would agree with that. But from a design perspective, the use of type only is very aesthetically pleasing. Below the title is 'Paul Arden, author of the world's best selling book' this could be seen as a bit annoying perhaps showing off, some may not like this but for me this arrogance works well with the rest of the design and show's how much of a pro Arden is at giving advice. It's confidence and confidence is something that Arden promotes within the book. It is key to success. 

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