Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Middlesex Book Cover

Last night I was looking through my bookshelf and found this black and white copy of Middlesex that I read a few years ago. My scanner doesn’t work so I was looking online for the cover so that I could post it to the blog. When I typed in “Middlesex novel cover”, I came across a few variations of the book. I chose to put up these two specific ones for different reasons. The black and white cover is one that I see all of the time. The other cover has a few things I really enjoy about it.

Olga Grlic illustrated the black and white cover. I think the illustrations are fine for the most part, and I really like the boat sitting on the top of the smoke, but overall, the perspectives throw me off. It might just be the burning city at the bottom that doesn’t make sense, or the two people sitting and smoking juxtaposed against the two scenes. Either way, I don’t seem to see the connection. It all seems separate. Also, the smoke has nothing to do with the book. I really do love the handling of the black and white though. There is not just one background color; the black bottom and the white top work well together. I also love the handling of the typeface and type layout. But there just seems to be a little too much going on throughout the whole cover.

With the other cover, I couldn’t seem to figure out who exactly did the illustration. I like the colors and the illustration because it seems like it is straight out of an old almanac. It also reminds me of something sexual and possibly phallic. It makes sense with the story because the main character is trying to find out who they are and where they belong in the world sexually.
If I were the art director for the cover, I would use the illustration from the old book and use the type from the black and white cover. I would keep it black and white because it seems simple and clean. Alas, I am not the art director for this cover so I have to accept it for what it is.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy analyzing different versions of book covers, so this was really interesting. I haven't read Middlesex, but I definitely agree with you about taking the old book cover design and using the typeface from the newer version of the cover.