For the cover of Carrie Mesrobian’s Perfectly Good White Boy, I had to audition some pretty grungy characters: floors and surfaces in and around the Lerner offices. Lest you think book design is all about glamour. Here are some of the runners up and why they weren’t cast:
|The oft-trod carpet outside of my office. This had some nice streaks in it to give
depth & movement to the cover, but all in all was a little too warm & cozy.
|Ah, winter in Minnesota. The sidewalk in front of our building, taken during a slight January thaw.
This setting gives too much of an idea of time & place.
|Wood grain laminate on a conference room table. Too shiny & neat.
And too obviously fake for a story that rings true.
|3rd floor men’s bathroom. Because who doesn’t want to sit on a bathroom floor
to take a picture. This is great flooring for a bathroom—the pattern & texture can hide
a lot of evils—but on the cover of a book it had a jaunty vibe that just didn’t fit.
|Old drain area tucked away in a basement corner, far away from any workspaces.
This was too close to a “going down the drain” visual metaphor.
|Our entryway, during slushy salty winter.
Nice perspective, but the lines were distracting to the title.
|A back stairwell. Stairs heading up. Too optimistic?|
So we come to the winner, the second floor kitchen. Just the right amount of familiar dullness with a slightly sad air about it. Just what a cover should strive for, right? In this particular case, yes.
So what do you think—did the right character get the part?