I’m not quite sure what grabbed me first when I saw the cover design for Antony John’s Five Flavors of Dumb – the odd title or the cover itself.
At first glance, the cover holds its own in the mood department. Dumb’s protagonist, Piper, appears to be resilient and no-nonsense. There’s a seriousness to this cover, despite the fact that its title suggests the exact opposite. In fact, this doesn’t even look like a cover. It lends itself more to the likeness of a movie poster. Or better yet, a band’s promotional poster, with Piper as its assumed frontwoman (but really band manager). The girl portraying Piper is especially striking, highlighted by a soft color palette of stage lights behind her.
I absolutely love a layered look. The process is often painstaking and I have a huge amount of respect for someone whose creation involves element upon element to create a final work that, well, works. Penguin’s cover designer Kristin Smith appeared to set out to cover as many bases as she could when it came to creating a design that encapsulated what Dumb was about. I particularly love the ripped up concert posters, the dirty texture of both the upper and lower half of the cover, each reflecting a side of the edgy music that plays throughout this book.
I could write a few more paragraphs as to why Dumb’s cover, well, rocks. (Sorry I couldn’t help myself) Luckily, Antony John and Kristin Smith spent some time answering a boatload of questions varying from design process to print texture to Antony’s intial reaction on seeing the cover. You’ll also get a peek at a first comp Smith designed for the cover. These posts will be going up tomorrow and Wednesday, so stay tuned.