Book Covers That Put You to Sleep

December 5, 2008

midnight-pillowThere’s a competition for everything, right? Right! In both the design and book worlds, there are plenty, but none quite like this one from Before & After, a magazine for graphic designers.

To win, the most boring book cover possible, something to put the most ardent insomniac to sleep, must be created — including a fictional title, sub-title and author’s name. The entries are still arriving, but early contenders include the cover pictured at left.

Now you might think this cover is about as sleep-inducing as counting sheep, but according to the judges, it has some qualities that may wake you up.

To wit: Midnight. Pillow. Bedside. Slumberous words. Soft, comfy linen in calm, neutral colors. What could be more sleep inducing? Even the author’s name is, well, gray. But there are some culprits here that mess up the somnolent mood. One is the word “tales,” which suggests intrigue, mystery, suspense, especially since it involves a bed — at midnight. Another is the pillow’s rakish angle, which is extremely active and suggestive, too, in a Hitchcock kind of way. And Mr. Graye? His bland countenance is betrayed by that rogue, ending e, which suggests, if not an exotic lineage, at least a British one, á la Sherlock Holmes.

To see the rest of the entries and judge’s commentary, go to Before & After. Nighty-nite!