Go Set A Watchman: Did the best design win?

go set a watchmanThis year, the book world was shaken by a ‘new’ Harper Lee work for people to read, Go Set A Watchman, the first draft she wrote all those decades ago and melded into what became To Kill A Mockingbird. You’ll also recognise that bold orange, typographical cover with the silhouette of a bird. But, as our next event will be looking at the process of book design, we wondered, did the right cover make it? Design is subjective, so we want to hear your thoughts!

Luckily, for those of us who’re quite nosy about what goes into the process of designing such an important book, Random House have posted several rejected covers, and so have It’s Nice That. Instead of just having one person working on covers, PRH let six in-house designers have a go, and these are just some of the results.

So here’s what we want to know: Did they pick the right cover in your mind? What ones do you like best? What ones do you think don’t work and why?

Full credit for these images goes to Random House and It’s Nice That.


4 thoughts on “Go Set A Watchman: Did the best design win?

  1. I think lots of them look like spy novels. The ninth one feels like the Lion King or set in that area of the world. The thirteenth has a 1984 vibe, it looks like the eye of Big Brother. The last one looks like it could be a chick lit book. It’s odd how many different genres they look like they could be.

    I like a lot of them but I don’t know if I could pick any that I think would be better than going typographical across the board… I think my favourite would be the 4th one though, it’s nice and simple and feels of the right era. I don’t know – they’re all too different!


  2. It’s so interesting to see what different designers come up with for the same text!
    I personally quite like the 12th cover, I think I would pick that book up even without Harper Lee’s name on it.


  3. Charlotte

    I like the last one, i think it’s very obviously a coming of age style story, but it doesn’t make me feel like it will be riddled with cliches!


  4. Pingback: #SYPBookDesign: Book Design: From Concept to Customer. | SYP Scotland

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