Wednesday, 3 December 2008
Half a horse
The gratuitous image above is there because I seem to be involved in a book about Faber jackets and cover designs. (With 2,000 illustrations, said the person who handed me the text; no, said a nearby designer, far fewer, it has to fit into 192 pages; I think it’s one of those books whose authors, editors and designers set off in different directions.) Why me? Because, I suspect, in the way that there are people who know who scored the second goal in the 1937 cup final, I happen to know how to spell Amos Tutuola’s name without googling him, and that the drunkard in one of his titles is in fact a drinkard. (And that Kureishi’s beautiful laundrette is exactly that, despite the variant spelling. And that although many people spell his name all in lower-case letters to show that they’ve read his poems, E. E. Cummings is in fact a grown-up and prefers his initial caps like the rest of us. Oh I could bore you to tears.) Rarefied knowledge, and much good it does me. Still, lots of opportunities in this book for creative mis-titles of the type mentioned somewhere earlier.
The above cover is not in the book, but it’s my all-time favourite Faber cover. Usually when you look at an image on a cover you can tell without difficulty which bit of the market the designer, or more likely the sales department, is aiming at. But with this, the back end of a horse, no. Unless I’m missing something obvious.