Need examples of textual graphics
October 10, 2012 10:25 AM   Subscribe

Please suggest book covers (or others) I can look at that are extremely text-heavy images.

I want to have a piece of promotional material designed for a client. It's not a topic that lends itself easily to imagery and I am considering getting someone to design something that uses text instead of images.

Here are 2 examples of what I mean:

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Things I Want To Punch In The Face.

I remember at least one other book cover that came out several years ago where the graphics were words in the shape of Manhattan Island but I can't remember what the book was.

Can you please suggest other examples of book covers (or similar, posters, whatever) where the main graphic component is text, so that I can show this to a designer? And if anyone knows how I could find out who actually designed these specific books, that would be amazingly helpful. Or point me to people whose work is similar. Thanks!
posted by bq to Media & Arts (22 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This is a pretty trendy cover look right now. Here are some recent ones: The Fault in Our Stars, It's Kind of a Funny Story, Where Things Come Back, The Lovers Dictionary, The Casual Vacancy, The Art of Fielding.

My personal favorite is older, though: How to Suppress Women's Writing.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:40 AM on October 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You Shall Know Our Velocity
posted by Beardman at 10:42 AM on October 10, 2012

Best answer: This copy of Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang is the first thing that came to mind.
posted by komara at 10:43 AM on October 10, 2012

Best answer: Oh, and Rodrigo Corral designed the Green cover and Jon Gray did Safran Foer's.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:44 AM on October 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: (MeFi's own) John Scalzi has Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 10:44 AM on October 10, 2012

Best answer: Fiddlesticks, I have a collection of these on another computer, will dig them out late tonight but in the meantime:

Also by Jonathan Safran Foer: The Unabridged Pocketbook of Lightning and Everything is Illuminated

The Carrie Diaries

The Chemistry of Death

Faces of the Gone

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County

Sixty-nine Cents
posted by humph at 10:44 AM on October 10, 2012

Response by poster: These are awesome, thank you, and 'It's Kind of a Funny Story' was the other cover I was thinking of but couldn't remember! More please!
posted by bq at 10:50 AM on October 10, 2012

Response by poster: And apparently 'Typographic book cover' is the search term I was missing.
posted by bq at 10:51 AM on October 10, 2012

The hardback cover of The Information by James Gleick is a fantastic use of a generic serif font on a generic white cover.

The style of the poster for The Social Network has been widely imitated since that came out but I can't think of any examples offhand.
posted by theodolite at 11:08 AM on October 10, 2012

The edition of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction at the bottom of this article is my favorite. Some of the others might work as well.
posted by mlle valentine at 11:23 AM on October 10, 2012

My Dyslexia

Another recent piece of work by Rodrigo Corral
posted by drlith at 11:27 AM on October 10, 2012

I always liked the cover for the paperback of Salinger's Nine Stories.
posted by steef at 12:06 PM on October 10, 2012

Unendlicher Spass (Infinite Jest in German)
posted by mattbucher at 12:08 PM on October 10, 2012

Six Years is pretty much as text-heavy as you can get.
posted by EmilyFlew at 2:00 PM on October 10, 2012

John Hodgman's first two books, "The Areas of My Expertise" and "More Information Than You Require" qualify, while the third book, "THAT IS ALL" is a study in minimal text.
posted by Sunburnt at 2:03 PM on October 10, 2012

As to finding out who did what, you might start at the Book Cover Archive. There's also a list of other book design sites at bottom; some are defunct now, but their archives are usually still around.
posted by Su at 2:48 PM on October 10, 2012

A list of gray318's covers from that archive.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 5:01 PM on October 10, 2012

The cover for XTC's album Go 2 is very text-heavy.
posted by Lexica at 6:05 PM on October 10, 2012

In The Woods by Tana French
posted by the twistinside at 8:37 PM on October 10, 2012

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Londonstani by Gautam Malkani

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

Alentejo Blue by Monica Ali

The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier

The Night of the Gun by David Carr
posted by stampsgal at 7:30 AM on October 11, 2012

The Caustic Cover Critic recently posted these classic reprints, with pseudo word clouds ("pseudo" in that they are not based on word frequency, they're just important phrases in the book).
posted by timepiece at 12:06 PM on October 12, 2012

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