Capital Crimes

Capital Crimes

Carey George Dean Martin Inc., Toronto, Ontario, 1999


Capital Crimes examines the sources of crime, from street violence to corporate crime, and attributes them to greed, fueled by global capitalism. Instead of the aggressive and gritty approach that is common for books dealing with crime, the direction was to design a cover that is very sleek and seductive, which demonstrates the book’s premise. The shiny, metallic silver cover and its bright yellow band is used to attract attention. On closer examination, however, the yellow band is the tape used by police to fence off crime scenes. In this case, it surrounds a less obvious scene of crime—an office tower that symbolizes the elite economic interests that determine criminal activity.

Struggling with trying to distill the ideas presented in the book, I focused on artifacts related to crime such as traces of evidence and detective tools, which provided lots of visual material. I’m most pleased that after coming up with the police line idea, I was able to express it clearly using only basic graphic elements: a yellow box and type.

Collections: 50 Books | 50 Covers of 1999
Repository: Denver Art Museum
Discipline: Book design
Format: Book cover


Design firm
Carey George Dean Martin Inc.
Creative director
Dean Martin
Gilbert Li
Kim Steele, Photodisc
George Winslow
Trim size
6 x 9 inches
ITC Franklin Gothic extra compressed
Best Book Manufacturers (Quebec)
Monthly Review Press