Thursday, April 1, 2010

On Angels and Overkill

Just this quick look at two very different covers - it's the Is-More-More-Or-Is-It-Less? question (which was also expounded on over at Jacket Whys) and by Carol here at Jacket Knack who did a nice job of defending both simplicity and ornamentation .

Clockwork Angels (Book One of Cassandra Clare's new fantasy trilogy, The Infernal Devices) - wow, there is a LOT going on in this:  Edwardian jacketed young man, purple beams emanating from body parts, golden angel figure, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, strange demonic drawings, ghostly vestiges, multiple fonts: title of book, title of series, reminder of previous series name, volume number, author name...multiple colors: blue, purple, gray,brown, gold, black, white....

2. Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper - wow, clean as a whistle design:

These two covers remind me of these two sculptures (on left, Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers in the Piazza Navona, Rome, and on the right, an owl by French sculptor, Francois Pompon)...

... or maybe these two chairs?


  1. And yet they both work! And the second type of cover would never have worked for at steampunky sort of novel, right?

  2. Absolutely right, Chen - each cover sends a message about its ideal reader. And people wax rhapsodic about Bernini's fountain, while others stand and think about how it needed editing. Ditto the chairs - it all depends where you put them, and who needs to sit down!

  3. P.S. That said, I prefer the simple chair, the calm owl and the goldfish. The question to ask might be this: Do I dislike the cluttered steampunk cover because I dislike clutter or because I dislike steampunk? Another question might be this: Why do clutter and steampunk go together? Theories, anyone?

  4. Good theorizing, might just be right.