just because i love books doesn’t mean i’m not a superficial snob sometimes. in fact, if chip kidd did the design for panasonic’s VCR instruction manuals, there’s a chance i’d buy an antiquated machine i no longer have tapes for. but if you’re going to write a book about radical approaches to cartography, you better have a radical approach to your cover art. and crapping out something that looks like the unholy offspring of a color test and a barcode doesn’t really qualify.
rather than saying “read me because i have interesting things to say about the future of mapping shit”—which experimental geography might very well do—this book says to me that the author wouldn’t know radical if it time-traveled from the 1980s and punched him in the face.
how the book design review ever thought this qualified as one of the most well-designed book covers of 2009 is beyond me. however, i do give bdr props for calling out the fact that someone finally did a 1984 cover that doesn’t suck. love that book, love the new jacket. doubleplusgood, indeed.