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Posted 4 weeks ago in Editorial

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Editoral 195: SPINE

A rush to judgement is one of the bleakly defining hallmarks of our time. The snapshot opinion, the cancel culture pile-on, the necessity to have an opinion on everything – these are all trotted out on Twitter every day, often with neither grace, dignity nor insight. But we are impulsive beings, bombarded with choice and competing forces clamouring for our head space. And in a world where we don’t get to read all the reviews and comments, an area where impulse can be neatly guided is in the craft of book cover design.

Why did I end picking up a copy of Sakaya Murata’s Convenience Store Woman? Because I love Japanese fiction, had read one of her short stories in Granta and then I saw the cover in Hodges Figgis – a plastic fish, soya sauce, container with a red screw top set against a popping pink background, at once kooky and uniquely Japanese. The designer is Luke Bird. In fact, there are several cover iterations for the book on the internet, each one with merit preparing you for the story contained behind the cover.

It’s been a delight to discover the modus operandi of some of our main book cover designers in this edition. And even have one of them Jack Smyth create a unique cover to complement the article. They are based in Dublin, Kerry, London and New York but there’s a passion for fonts, kerning, composition, typography, photography and illustration which unites them all – and, most importantly, the written word and its potential which they harness in exquisite ways.

Dog-ear the pages, bend the spine and never be afraid to scribble a note or two.

Michael McDermott

Pick up a copy in the city or view online here.

 

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