Wednesday saw the release of the first 'real' James Bond book in years. The first as in the first official book, written in the style of Ian Flemming. Officially sanctioned by the International Committee of Flemmings. Trust me, it's exciting news.
I bought a copy. And it occurred to me that it's the first time for a while that I've opted for the thing as opposed to the digital version. You know, audio book, dvd, iTunes etc. So let's take a look at the graphic design of said object.
First up the cover, or more accurately the dust jacket. I don't like it at all. The type is OK. I like the full cap DEVIL MAY CARE. I can't (quickly at any rate) work out what font it is. It's Gill Sans esque, but it's not Gill. The foil embossing works well and it's a decent tight little unit.
The woman / flower graphic is an OK idea, very Bond, but it's badly executed. The two different styles, one for the woman and one for the flower, clash horribly. It's not a seamless segueway. The shapes are nice but they don't seem to work together.
The dust jacket itself is glossy and shiny and doesn't really feel special. Nothing like those little special editions Penguin were doing a few years ago. I don't feel like I'm being rewarded for buying the actual thing. In fact, I binned the cover straight away, much to the chagrin* of my colleagues. I always bin the dust jackets. These days they look shit and they just get in the way. They're cumbersome and besides, the books look so much better without. Don't ya think?
Much better. There's that nice little 007 Penguin logo. I like that. Do you?
There are end papers too, which is a nice change. They're OK.
But, you know what, everything is OK and OK just isn't good enough. Especially when I've gone and bought the actual thing. You'd think that designing the cover for the first official Bond book in years was a dream brief for many a young designer, wouldn't you? And it's for Penguin too! Not good enough.
There are some special editions kicking around and they look pretty decent. This is probably the best one.
That's more like it. I know they can't make special editions for everyone, but they could have copied some of the graphic style.
What do you think?
* Devil May Care joke.