Thursday, 16 October 2014
Bitcoin: Behind the Cover
Your copy of Bitcoin: the Future of Money should be arriving any moment now. We think it looks great – embossed lettering, gold foil, flaps and loads of lovely details. I particularly like the distributed network of gold foil bitcoins, the merging of a gold and bitcoin sun with its overtones of a bright and funky future. But it's all too easy to ignore what goes into a cover. So we asked the designers, Dan Mogford and Mark Ecob, to talk us through it all – which they do in this guest post.
A guest post by Unbound Art Director Mark Ecob
Bitcoin. That’s what.
The very day I was briefed to Art Direct this cover design for Unbound, I had watched a piece about in on the news. And being a bit of a computer nerd, my interest was piqued.
Isobel Frankish (Unbound’s Managing Editor) briefed it just right with the help of the author – the goal was to convey authority, confidence, the economic factor, to stand out against dry banking books post-crash that can dominate some bookshelves. And to introduce Bitcoin to Unbound’s audience with impact, because some of you, like me, may not have heard much about it.
I suggested one of Unbound's regular designers, Dan Mogford, who has a good all-round portfolio, but is particularly gifted in designing non-fiction with style and impact. Dan and I had a quick chat about the project...
How good was the brief?
’The brief from Unbound was perfectly concise and to-the-point and included a great word association list which is a personal favourite way of brainstorming ideas for this kind of non-fiction. Dominic and the Unbound team were also keen to try and include a digital rendering of a 'tangible' Bitcoin coin on the cover as one of the initial directions.'
Why this concept?
'Having tried out a few visuals using a 3D visualisation of a Bitcoin, I was keen to try something that got away from depicting this as physical currency and more of a digital/graphic device. The very essence of Bitcoin is that it is pitched against the old world of finance and currency as we know it and illustrating it with a big fat gold coin just didn't ring true for me. I took the existing Bitcoin logo as the starting point and attempted to illustrate something that hinted at the freshness and dynamism of this new currency with suggestions of the complex networked nature of the thing. After a little of the usual feedback and revising process I think we ended up with a really striking cover.'
What do you think of the finished article?
'I've worked on a few Unbound titles and am always blown away by the attention to detail that's lavished on their products – both physical and digital. There's some typically lovely Unbound production and finishing here – a delicate smattering of gold foil and some deep embossing making for a pretty tasty package.'
Is the process at Unbound is different to other clients of yours?
'Because Unbound's books only come into being once the audience has materialised, there's none of the typical herd-following mentality that can affect the briefing process at larger traditional publishers. This, plus the direct involvement of the author in the whole production process, makes for a unique approach to design and briefing.’
What do you think of the Bitcoin cover? We'd be very interested to hear your thoughts...