The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Bugs

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bugs2

This, the latest post in my Beasts! series, was unexpectedly difficult to compile. While it seems there isn’t a book cover in existence that couldn’t be improved by putting on a bird on it, bugs are, at least by comparison, somewhat rare. While I assumed that bees, beetles, butterflies, centipedes, flies, spiders, termites et al would naturally lend themselves to evocative book designs, we are apparently still quite squeamish about creatures with six legs or more. That said, today’s post includes far more rejected (and short-lived covers) than previous instalments in the series, which that it isn’t necessarily the designers who are afraid of creepy crawlies, but rather other decision-makers in the process are worried about their negative influence on sales. Hopefully some of these covers will change their minds about that…

acid-house
The Acid House by Irvine Welsh; design by Matt Broughton (Vintage Books)

9780374104092
Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer; design by Charlotte Strick; Illustration by Eric Nyquist (FSG / February 2014)

Arcadia RD 1 cleanb
Arcadia by Lauren Groff; design by Will Staehle (Voice / March 2012)

babayaga
Babayaga by Toby Barlow; design by Gray318 (Corvus / February 2014)


The Bees by Laline Paull; design by Steve Attardo (Ecco / May 2014)

bees
The Bees by Laline Paull; design by Jo Walker (Fourth Estate / May 2014)

beautiful-you
Beautiful You by Chuck Palahniuk; design by Rodrigo Corral Design (Doubleday / October 2014)

BoneGap_Jkt_des4
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby; design by Michelle Taormina (Balzer + Bray / March 2015)

Lorenzo_Petrantoni
Boxer Beetle by Ned Beauman; illustration by Lorenzo Petrantoni (Sceptre / August 2010)

Brodeck-s_Report_Anna-Heath
Brodeck’s Report by Phillipe Claudel; design by Anna Heath (Quercus)

9781250045058
Bug Music by David Rothenberg; design by Ervin Serrano (St. Martin’s Press / May 2013)

Carnival-brian-morgan
Carnival by Rawi Hage; design by Brian Morgan, illustration by Lorenzo Petrantoni (House of Anansi Press / August 2012)


Chop Chop by Simon Wroe; design by Ben Wiseman (Penguin / April 2014)

cockroach-albert-tang
Cockroach by Rawi Hage; design by Albert Tang (W. W. Norton / October 2009)

cockroach-bill-douglas-unused
Cockroach by Rawi Hage; design by Bill Douglas (House of Anansi / unused)

constant-gardener
Constant Gardener by John Le Carre; design by Stuart Bache (Sceptre)

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Crowd of Sounds by Adam Sol; design by Bill Douglas (House of Anansi / April 2003)

electricity
Electricity by Victoria Glendinning; design by David Mann (Pocket Books / April 2006)

escaping-into-the-open-bookdesigners
Escaping into the Open by Elizabeth Berg; design by The Book Designers (Harper / August 2012)

Fever
Fever by Sonia Shah; design by LeeAnn Falciani (Picador / June 2011)

The First Principles of Dreaming
The First Principles of Dreaming by Beth Goobie; design by Natalie Olsen / Kisscut Design (Second Story Press / September 2014)


Generation A by Douglas Coupland; design by Jennifer Heuer (Simon & Schuster / June 2010)

9783608501100
Generation A by Douglas Coupland; design by Books We Made (Tropen / August 2010)

DR_GHost_Moth_Hand
Ghost Moth by Michèle Forbes; design by Kathleen Lynch / Black Kat Design (Penguin Canada / October 2013)

Sting
A Sting in the Tale by Dave Goulson; design by LeeAnn Falciani (Picador / April 2014)

Hurt_Healer_CG3
Hurt Healer by Tony Nolan; design by Connie Gabbert (Baker / unused?)

simon4
In Translation edited by Sherry Simon; design by David Drummond (McGill-Queen’s University Press / unused?)

marriage-game-bookdesigners-unused
The Marriage Game by Alison Weir; design by The Book Designers (Ballantine / unused)

Metamorphosis
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka; design by Jamie Keenan (W. W. Norton / February 2014)

missing-link
Missing Link by Jeffrey Donaldson; design by David Drummond (forthcoming)

9781846689895
The Moth introduced by Neil Gaiman; design by Dan Stiles (Serpent’s Tail / August 2014)

my-first-kafka
My First Kafka by Matthue Roth & Rohan Daniel Eason; design by Richard Rodriguez; cover illustration Rohan Daniel Eason (One Peace Books / June 2013)

never-mind
Never Mind by Edward St. Aubyn; design by Stuart Wilson (Picador / April 2012)

original-sins
Original Sins by Peg Kingman; design by Darren Haggar (W. W. Norton / September 2010)

perdido-crush-creative
Perdido Street Station by China Mieville; design by Crush Creative (Pan Books / May 2011)

possession
Possession by A. S. Byatt; design Vintage Design (Vintage / December 2009)

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The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida; design by Kai & Sunny (Sceptre / July 2013)


Royauté by Alexie Morin design by Catherine D’Amours / Pointbarre (Le Quartanier / October 2013)

shining-girls-keith-hayes
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes; design by Keith Hayes (Mulholland Books / June 2013)

Swallow
Swallow by Theanna Bischoff; design by Natalie Olsen / Kisscut Design (NeWest Press / February 2013)

Poe GOTHIC SERIES Holly MacDonald
Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe; Holly MacDonald (Bloomsbury / October 2009)

9781429988834
Why You Should Read Kafka Before You Waste Your Life by James Hawes; Design and lettering by Steve Snider; Illustration by Douglas Smith (St. Martin’s Press / July 2008)

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5 Comments

  1. Pingback: Bokomslag med insekter och djur på | bearbooks

  2. A beautiful collection, as always. Thanks for the post!

  3. So many … and I have another one. Blood Donors by Steve Tasane.
    Walker Books, designer: Jack Noel (@jackdraws … that’s me)
    http://41.media.tumblr.com/ba908b15c569b1d11ab35de3f22036e6/tumblr_n2y9lxGexQ1s74zuho1_500.jpg
    More: http://www.ink-slingers.co.uk/search/blood+donors

  4. Thanks, Jack. SHAMELESS, but thanks. ;-)

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