Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy Nude Year: Phaidon

Some great new books from Phaidon. The top three are large hardcovers, the last three are small paperbacks, uncoated covers with French flaps. Futuretainment's arrow is die-cut. Painting today is printed directly on the case. Have a great 2010, kiddies. It's the year we make contact!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Jennifer Carrow: The Sky Below

This is quite stunning - the photo, and I suppose the model of the box, was taken by Jennifer Carrow as well.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Catherine Casalino: The Groucho Letters

Chappy Chanukah! We made it through yet another miraculous eight days. This awesome paperback was published by Simon and Schuster in Aug 2007. I asked Catherine how she found the illustration and this was her response:

"I drew the illustration myself— it's based on a famous photo of Groucho. I had looked at a lot of past Groucho books and they either used caricatures or black & white photos/stills from his movies. He's such an icon, that I thought creating a graphic portrait of him was appropriate— and I swapped out his cigar for a pencil. The word Groucho is his actual signature. I found it by chance! It was stamped on the case of the earlier edition from the 1960s."

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Keenan: Love in Infant Monkeys

The title of this book is printed on a small sticker affixed to the banana. It's a real sticker you can peel off. Amazing! Here's the description:

"Lions, rabbits, monkeys, pheasants—all have shared the spotlight and tabloid headlines with famous men and women. Sharon Stone’s husband’s run-in with a Komodo dragon, Thomas Edison’s filming of an elephant’s electrocution and David Hasselhoff’s dogwalker all find a home in Love in Infant Monkeys. At the rare intersections of wilderness and celebrity, Lydia Millet hilariously tweaks these unholy communions to run a stake through the heart of our fascination with pop icons and the culture of human self-worship." (soft skull press)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Isaac Tobin: Everything Matters!

"In infancy, Junior Thibodeaux is encoded with a prophecy: a comet will obliterate life on Earth in thirty-six years. Alone in this knowledge, he comes of age in rural Maine grappling with the question: Does anything I do matter?" I love all the comets hurtling towards the title, and check out the quotes in each comet! Pretty rad.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Oliver Munday: The Last Skin

Three beautiful covers for a poetry book, with the final cover at the bottom. Here is a bit of back story from Oliver:

"I worked with Maggie Payette (Penguin's poetry series AD) on this cover. She told me upfront that the author had a piece of art that she wanted to use on the cover, but that I could try some ideas based on my interpretation of the poetry anyway. The poetry dealt with the ideas of death, beauty, fragility, time and loss. I chose to try and cover all of these themes and visually summarize them by using the idea of a flower shedding its petals, or skin as I interpreted it.

The next cover idea came directly from a poem. There was an image of a jar from the poet's past in one of the works, which really stuck out to me. I thought it was an interesting metaphor for dealing with memories/keeping them safe and also their fragility.

The cover chosen was the one with the piece of art that the author chose. But, I was happy to have the comps in the old 'folio.

Both covers were shot by Ramell Ross:

And Check out more of Oliver's amazing work at:

Friday, November 27, 2009

Megan Wilson/Carol Carson: The Letters of Noel Coward

The new paperback, designed by Megan Wilson, and the original hardcover, designed by Carol Carson. Have a smokin' holiday everyone!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Paul Buckley/Ken Garduno: Light Boxes

"The inhabitants of a closely-knit town are experiencing perpetual February after a vengeful god-like spirit punishes them for flying. The sun becomes a distant memory, the ground is blanketed in snow, children go missing, and more and more adults become catatonic with depression. But others find the strength to fight back..." A Penguin original coming in June. Spike Jonz has optioned the film rights, and 24-year old music video director Ray Tintori is rumored to direct. He's the director of the MGMT video "Time to Pretend."

Correx: here is the illustrator's website. Thanks, Paul!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Jaya Miceli: Short Girls

The story of two Vietnamese-American sisters visiting their father, an "...enthusiastic inventor of devices to improve the lives of short people." Jaya says: "...they were having trouble with the repackage.....went many rounds in many directions. Deadline was upon me and I found this image that simply reiterated the meaning in the title." I find this image to be hilarious and perfect. (Penguin, Summer 2010)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Rob Grom: John Dies @ the End

A wonderful treat came upon me at the bookstore last week, when I saw this book brazenly staring at me from across the room. WTF, I asked myself. Then I picked it up and turned it over. SCORE!! Here is designer Rob Grom's description of how it came to be:

"This is one of my personal favorites. This project was given to me as a rush assignment, so I knew very little about the was described to me as an Evil Dead/Matrix/Big Lebowski type story. The cover is just a blatant interpretation of the
title, John Dies at the End, but the real pay off is the back cover...Finally, some real gore for once! Geoff Spear photographed and retouched the image beautifully. I kind of felt a bad for the hand/arm model, but it was well worth it : )"

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chip Kidd/Evan Gaffney: Fangland

One of our first posts at Anonymous was Evan Gaffney's wonderful hardcover of Fangland (bottom), an updating of the Dracula story about a news reporter investigating a Romanian gangster. I came across the amazing comps from Chip Kidd for a cover and spine (top) at Darren Haggar's revamped website.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich: The Kingdom of Ohio

In the year 1900, a laborer building New York's subway tunnels falls in love with a troubled woman who claims to have traveled seven years into the future from the Lost Kingdom of Ohio. Her mysterious story drags them into the orbits of a crusty J.P Morgan and of dueling inventors Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla (PW). Matte finish, spot gloss type, gold foil ornaments. Riverhead, Dec 31, 2009.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Darren Haggar: Leisure

It's time to fly the friendly skies.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Barbara de Wilde: The Undertaking (repackage)

A repackaging of the classic book, a collection of essays about life and death by the sole funeral director in Milford, Michigan. The original cover (bottom) might have been a scan of Barbara de Wilde's hand. Twelve years later, Barbara and photographer John Broomfield reshot the cover to update it. (WW Norton, Summer 2009)

correction (?) An anonymous tipster has informed us that "The hand on the original cover was Archie Ferguson's, and was made on an ordinary office scanner the good old low-budget way...For Norton's repackaging there was actually a production budget, and so the image was made by photographer Stephen Lewis."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Will Staehle: Manhood for Amateurs

Will Staehle designs this new collection of autobiographical essays in the style of Chabon's previous novel, The Yiddish Policemen's Union. The jacket comes off to reveal further art printed on the case...however I don't think the spinner actually spins. Fab!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Essays/Wallace Shawn

A new book of essays by the actor and playwright. The photo, interestingly, seems about 20 years old, from his Princess Bride days, even though the essays are current. I love the simplicity of the design, which appears to be an homage to Paul Rand.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Christopher Sergio: The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death

I love this cover, and Sergio provided me with a great breakdown of what went into creating it:

The "Mystic Arts...." is a noir crime-novel.

The book's protagonist works for a company called "Clean Team", on the
janitorial job from hell. These are the guys who come and clean up the blood
and guts of crime scenes after the CSI techs all head back to their posh
labs. Inevitably, due to his unique skill set, our hero gets drawn into the
drama of a crime/mystery in progress, and the horses are off.

I began my sketching and design process by focusing on the tools of the
trade: Rubber gloves, mops, buckets, sponges, spray bottles, etc. I tried to
find very clean shots of each, usually on stark white backgrounds, with the
intention of laying some handmade type over the whole cover to add in the
messy, crime-scene element. But in the end, this approach didn't seem
noir-ish enough. The imagery was just too bright.

So I went to the noir source, and sought out crime scene photos themselves.
I struck upon the idea of having a crime scene photo with the body
graphically removed, cut out, as if by magic. I also liked that this
solution has a double read: is the body removed, or just hidden from view?

Turning the crime scene photo on it's side like this also helped to create a
sense a tension. The silhouette seems awkward for a standing pose, and you
may not realize what you're looking at on first glance. I liked that the
crime-scenes numbers written on the photograph (lower left hand of the
cover) give you a clue as to the original orientation of the image.

I kept my earlier idea of using messy type (now red), which still seemed
appropriate, and just filled the negative shape of the body. The yellow is a
very bright Pantone, to suggest sanitizing and queasiness at the same time.
It also seemed to add a spirit-like quality, and play up the "mystic" of the

The black and white image is gloss so it feels like an actual photograph.
And the yellow silhouette is matte, to strengthen the visual cut out. (The
red type is spot glossed, so that it sits up on the page.)

Thanks, Chris!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sarah Waters UK Editions

Two books by Sarah Waters, both shortlisted for the Booker Prize. As I recall, The Little Stranger was printed directly on the case, which I saw quite a bit of in Waterstone's when I visited London. Both these novels are thrillers that take place in the 1940s. I love the quirky type treatments and pulp fiction look of these covers. They remind me of Hitchcock posters and film titles.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lilli Carre/Paul Buckley: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Front cover and full mech of this upcoming title in the Penguin Graphics series. Cover by Lilli Carre. with design by Paul Buckley. You can view the current Penguin Graphics set here:

Friday, September 4, 2009

John Gall: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Beautiful adaptation of the hardcover running man for the paperback, which manages to keep true to the illustrated look Gall has established. Whereas Gall usually uses vintage advertising art for Murakami's novels, this book, which is a memoir, appears to be using a new style of illustration. I love the juxtaposition of the photographed runner and the fantastical world he's running in, like the dream-like thoughts inside the runner's head. Big ups to Ian for noting this cover.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Steve Snyder: Old Girlfriends

Photo by Marc Yankus. Designer to come. A new short story collection by one of John Updike's sons. I love the Mad Men feel of this cover, and the way the type shoots up with the buildings.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chin-Yee Li: The Complete Ripley Novels Boxed Set

I love this boxed set, which works so well with the Ripley stories. Ripley "... is everything crime fiction fans love in an (anti)hero: a charmingly slick killer who can worm his way out of anything." He is faced with a problem in each novel that must be solved by the end, by any means possible. The chess board at the top of the box is a nice depiction of these games. Also, the icons on each cover represent important pieces of the stories. The oar on Talented Mr. Ripley is his first murder weapon. But my favorite is the high-heeled shoe in The Boy Who Followed Ripley, which works so humorously against the title. In that novel, Ripley comes to the aid of a wealthy teenage expat with a secret, and at one point, they travel to a seedy Berlin transvestite club. It's such a small detail, but it's a joy to see it on the cover for someone who's read the books. And lastly, I love the way Ripley gradually disappears from view across all five covers.

Sunday, August 23, 2009



"Published on the occasion of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum's fiftieth anniversary...The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Making of the Modern Museum examines the history, design and construction of Wright's masterwork with preliminary drawings, models and photographs, as well as three major essays that consider the building in three important contexts." —

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Evan Gaffney: My Little Blue Dress

Adorable cover for a spoofy fake memoir about the life of a 100-year-old woman who goes from England to Paris to 50s America and beyond, replete with historical inaccuracies and typos. Note the reflected Penguin logo! From 2002.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pete Garceau: The Media Relations Department of Hizbollah Wishes You a Happy Birthday

Hilarious and well done! A Middle East correspondent who not only speaks Arabic but also grew up in the region offers a a broad cultural and personal investigation into the Middle East. Photo supplied by the author - and most likely features him as a boy.