Auditions for a book cover

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?

One thought on “Auditions for a book cover

  1. Matthew MacNish

    The linoleum is Perfectly Good. Especially the photographer's focus. The only thing that could have made it better is if it had been the actual floor in a Value Village.

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