Stephen Dixon: What Is All This?
Stephen Dixon: What Is All This?
Stephen Dixon: What Is All This?
Stephen Dixon: What Is All This?
Stephen Dixon: What Is All This?
Stephen Dixon: What Is All This?

Stephen Dixon: What Is All This?

Unflown, Seattle, Washington, 2010

Description

Project brief: The publisher had published only one previous prose fiction book, and I had never designed for prose fiction. So, pretty much, we all just did what felt right.

Approach: Dixon is a highly regarded, experimental writer who uses language in a manner both avant-garde and blue collar. The book cover particularly plays off the author’s tendency to obsessively explore a theme, backtrack on it and pursue alternate possibilities. His work is personal and banged out on a typewriter, begging for the use of the graphic designer’s equivalent: a photocopier.

Effectiveness: Reviewer Darby Dixon (unrelated) wrote the best praise possible: “I’d like to offer a note of appreciation to Jacob Covey’s design of the book. Spoiler alert: the title placement of “Knock Knock” offers a sort of extracted punch line to the placements of all the other titles throughout the book. Also, the raised text on the hardcover beneath the dust jacket not only aesthetically pleases but also interpretively enhances the book itself. This book is an object every bit in the spirit of the typewriters on which Dixon writes his stories and makes so much more sense when held in the hand than when seen as a JPEG. From one fan to another, Mr. Covey: thank you for getting it.”

Juror Notes

What is it? It’s a masterfully designed trade fiction book, that’s what. The typography on the binding (a hilarious deconstruction of the title) is the crowning touch.

Collections: 50 Books/50 Covers of 2010
Discipline: Book design
Format: Book

Credits

Design firm
Unflown
Art director
Jacob Covey
Designer
Jacob Covey
Author
Stephen Dixon
Publisher
Fantagraphics Books
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