Friday, January 12, 2007

Covers that should never see the light of day

Now that I've lambasted my own work, I feel better about criticizing someone else's. To wit, I present to you, the Worst Book Cover of the Year, 2006 Never mind the 2003 publication date — 2006 is when I found the sucker. Let's take a look:

The Double Voice of Her Desire
...yes, it's a real book.

OK, first off... there's the severed head. Eww. I could stop right there and we'd still have a... winner. Not everyone appreciates gore on the cover. For that matter, I'm not sure I've ever met anyone that does appreciate it.

Next up... the purple. I don't have anything against purple, per se, but whoever designed this one didn't choose a color with a different value than the graphic they were putting it on. So the type just sort of blends in there, and does weird things with your eyes against the engraving, and engravings tend to do weird things to your eyes anyway.

Now, if the purple didn't obscure they type enough already, note that you can't see the articles in the title. They're tiny and far removed from the rest of the text, so you're left with what looks like DOUBLE VOICE HER DESIRE. Double voice? How do I do that? The only way to get two voices is... wait... with two heads? Is that what the image is about? And — DESIRE?? Ladies, do you find all this sexy? Say it ain't so!

And so, for 2006, we present (symbolically) to anyone who comes across this book... a stack of brown paper and some Scotch tape. Make yourself a book cover; you're not protecting the book, you're protecting the eyes that might see it!

1 comment:

Jonadab said...

Interestingly, neither Amazon nor Barnes & Noble display a cover for that one.

While I'm willing to entertain the notion that there might potentially be books that could have a severed head on the cover and make it work. Perhaps the right sort of fantasy book could get along with a severed orc head on the cover, for instance. I somehow don't think, though, that a book on gender issues and revisionist grammar is really the right one to try it out on.

And quite aside from the legibility issue, that particular purple is... not the most pleasant shade of purple ever devised. A nice violet perhaps, or since it's a gender-issues book maybe even something in lavender... but not magenta. That's just wrong.

Perhaps the cover designer was going for shock value, hoping that a grotesque cover could compensate for an otherwise dull book. Nonetheless, I must agree that it really is a terrible cover.