Friday, September 14, 2007

How to Do a Cover, The Right Way - X2

The UK covers for Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series are exceptionally brilliant and creepy. The series is about a future distopia where everyone has full body plastic surgery+ at age 16. The covers communicate this idea by using naked and dismembered Barbie dolls. Whoever designed them did an amazing job. They are creepy as hell, but the use of Barbie dolls gives them the perfect balance of absurdity and horror.

This is the Brazillian cover for his novel So Yesterday, which is about a teen focus groupie, the Innovator he runs into on the street, and the mysterious appearance and disappearance of the coolest sneakers ever made. Thematically, it's about advertising, capitalism, consumerism, and identity.

The back continues the paper doll theme by including the actual paper dolls.

One thing I have to say about covers for teen books (worldwide, apparently) is that they are much more symbolic than a lot of adult or kid covers. Yeah, it's not a representative sample, but take a look at the covers for the top 25 books on Amazon. None of the other books (which, besides Harry, are all for adults) make use of visual metaphor in quite the same way the two teen books on the list do. I wonder what that means about the relative sophistication of the two groups in terms of literary and visual analysis. :)

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