It was designed by the author of the book, Robert Bringhurst, so yes, there are links between the book and the cover.
2. What is the intended message?
The intended message of the book design is to give a taster of what you will learn if you read the book - for example, the cover shows the letterform 'E' in different typefaces and some letterforms have accents - things that are dicussed through-out the book.
3. What are the semiotics behind this message and how/why have they been used to support the message/content?
The front cover shows a plain black background with a group of letterforms in the lower right-hand corner. The letterfors are in a gradient ranging from orange to white. The letters are all the letterform 'E' which I believe refers to the word 'Elements' in the title of the book. They are all in different typefaces, which I think is because Bringhurst discussed the displayed typefaces in his book. The letters also have accents on which Bringhurst also discusses in his book.
4. Is the cover successful in communicating this message/content?
I think this cover is successful in communicating the message as it's simple and to the point. It isn't over-complicated. The circle of type also could be based on a brain - which is relevant as it's considered 'The Typographer's Bible' and it's an informative book.
5. Are there any counter-arguments, if so how could this be better communicated?
Although successful, it's not a very aesthetically pleasing cover design to look at. It doesn't jump out at you and it's very simplistic. This could be communicated better if the brain of letterts was central instead of the post-modernesque feel that the book is going for at the moment.
We were then put into groups and asked to respond to each persons book covers with a sentence of analytical feedback and then sum up the cover with one word. My groups responses to my book cover are below:
- The cover has a postmodern feel and doesn't really fit with the content.
- The type used reminds me of the Bible, which is relevant as it's referred to as 'the typographer's bible'.
- I don't think it works at all.
- The illustrated type looks like it was stuck on afterwards - like it was an afterthought to fill the empty space.
- The cover doesn't exactly shout that it's about typography as the type used is a bit of a mess - it's ironic, really.
- It shouldn't look like a book that you don't want to read, and right now it does.
- The word 'of' doesn't fit with the title - it looks like they accidentally forgot it and added it afterwards.
- The colour scheme is quite successful as it reminds me of pen and paper, however I think the use of the colour red is pretty weird and irrelevant.
I then asked my group to give me a single word to describe the book cover. Most of these were pretty negative, which I thought would be useful to me as I will have to try to stop these negatives in my own design.
I found this groupwork really useful as I now know what I have to avoid to make my own design successful. It was also useful to get an idea of what everyone else's covers are like and what the book designs that are already on the market look like and why they are successful or unsuccessful.