September 5, 2007
Here’s something I always find interesting. Recently my fabulous book club read Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I had mixed feelings about the book (although I mostly liked it), but because I am a design geek, I was more interested in the cover design (authors everywhere, I apologize).
I really liked the design of my book. Nice minimal, contemporary design, reflective of this contemporary story. Unique and appropriate use of objects as letterforms. Just a really cool and inviting cover design.
Not so my friend’s version of Eat Pray Love. She had the large type version (not because she has vision problems, but because it was the only version available at the library.) Apparently people who need larger type are also treated to an eyesore of a cover. Blech. Ugly pictures, ugly (though legible) type. All around bad.
So I did a little research. I came across this alternate cover design, which I believe was the predecessor to the cover I had:
Which I think is a pretty good cover, but nothing fantastic. And this version, which I found on a German website:
What I find so interesting about this are the subtle differences between this version and the American market one. The type here is white, versus the orange and ornamented pink type of the American version (which will now be referred to as the AV). This version has a serif face, not the bold sans serif of the AV. And look closely — the silhouette of the woman is different. I find this change the most interesting of all, and I can’t figure out why they changed it.
To round this out, here are two additional versions I found, one in Chinese, one in another Asian language (sorry I don’t know which one). Different markets, very different designs:
And the reason why I’d care enough to even find out about these different versions is the reason why I am a graphic designer. Because, really, does the cover really matter? It does to me.