Book cover concept

by | Jan 5, 2013 | Book, Insurgency | 25 comments

Here’s a quick rendering of a concept for the book cover. Of course the cover would use real typing instead of this typewriter font!

For the moment I’m borrowing a bit of Georg’s beautiful ribbon photography.

Here I got the subtitle right: “A Field Manual for the Typewritten Revolution,” not “A Field Guide to the Typewritten Revolution,” as I had it in my previous posts. A field guide is for naturalists with binoculars; a field manual is for combatants.

Thanks for all your comments and suggestions on the book concept. You can still leave more at any time, they will always get to me (or write me directly at polt@xavier.edu). I’ll keep everyone posted.


  1. Unknown

    that is a beautiful cover! I would definetly buy this book!

  2. Jasper Lindell

    Perhaps the spine could be faux ribbon wrapped over the edges, rather than just an image on the cover. Might make it difficult, but it would look cool wouldn't it?

  3. Jasper Lindell

    But either way, it's looking very good at the moment. I have to agree with Mr Fernandez, I too would buy this book.

  4. shordzi

    The revolution will be in black and red, how fitting! And the rose makes me think of 1968, when Czechoslovak protesters put roses in the Red Army tank's gun. The Revolution comes in style. Perfetto!

  5. Miguel Chávez

    I like that cover very much! I wonder how the Purple Prose Producer would look like there…

  6. wordrebel

    Red is my favorite color so of course I love this! And quick question…why haven't you taken my money yet?! haha

  7. Bill M

    Great cover Richard. It has my vote.

  8. notagain

    pretty slick! Maybe a more militaristic typewriter though, or one partly disassembled, as a rifle might be.

  9. Mark

    If this doesn't happen I will be sad. I think the cover is great, love the ribbon spine.

  10. Vikram

    Reminds me of the "Worst Case Scenario" handbooks.
    Love the theme of red and black. Perhaps add some color to the corners?

    But as is, it's awesome. Would totally buy this book.

  11. L Casey

    This is getting more and more exciting with each update! Good luck with the actual writing of what is going to be a momentous book. If you need any assistance or input, I would be honored to help.

    Good luck, Richard!

  12. Dwayne F.

    I love it! The custom painted Optima echoes the handcraft and counter-cultural aspects of our obsession.

  13. Ping A

    Very nice, Richard! How about playing with the white background? Make it look like handmade paper, lined notebook or something textural?

  14. Scott K

    There's not enough black and red. All good books have heaps of black and red.

    I like your choices though. I think you're heading very much in the right direction. And I have to say – I always find designing a cover gives you much more motivation. Nice work.

  15. maschinengeschrieben

    The ribbon is a wonderful idea – though I think that the Optima looks a bit too nice and sweet for the revolution?

  16. Anonymous

    You need a hand, in vector art and maybe the titles "typed" onto the hand like some sort of branding…. and definitely have the ribbon on the spine!
    And that Optima looks lovely!

  17. deek

    Once we get all the content "right" I think it is only fitting that each typospherian hand-type his own manual and assemble. It can then be handed down to future generations. And some resourceful few may even type out more than one copy!

  18. rn

    I'm gonna offer a minority viewpoint that this is far too lovely a cover for my taste. I think a field manual of revolution needs something a bit more lively. Maybe an icepick to the basket and some word-blood leaking out, as if this is Leon Trotsky's typewriter.

    I know the insurgency is conceptual, but I'd like the image to have a bit more urgency.


    ps Georg's ribbon shots make me think of a typewriter flag sewn out of used black/red ribbon.

  19. Ton S.

    Richard, I don't mean to be a party pooper but I have to agree with Florian and rn. The design says "pretty" (or "salacious!") and not "revolution," it could be the cover of a book entitled "The Diary of a Flamenco Dancer."

    For me, it would be a mortal sin not to use that stunning phoenix you brought back to life- Sholes Visible! And that is one story that should make its way in one of the chapters of your book. Do you agree or do you agree?

  20. Richard P

    I do agree that the cover should signal "insurgency" more strongly. I think it needs another object, not a violent one but a rebellious one, in addition to a typewriter. Suggestions are welcome.

    As for the typewriter, I still like this one. Red is a revolutionary color (and this Optima is from communist East Germany, by the way — which still feels a bit "other" and threatening to us in the West).

    The Sholes Visible is a machine for collectors, not for the 21st-century typists who are the main audience for the book. I think I should include something about restoration techniques, but it has to be clear that this isn't a book primarily about collecting antique typewriters.

  21. Ton S.

    Richard, re: Sholes Visible. I was not thinking of the antique collector perspective; I was imagining it in terms of the unmistakable retro-tech design parallel with Fritz Lang's Metropolis, which you yourself and many of us saw immediately. That would fly with 21st Century insurgents.

    My two cents.'

  22. rn

    I agree with you about the Optima, Richard. I think it could be excellent, with the right collection of objects. Of course, if you want to publish with a mass market publisher, they're going to have their graphics people, some of whom do quite impressive work. If you want to self-publish, of course, then we can all look forward to lots of mock ups.

  23. Richard P

    Perfectly right, Rob. Mass market is the goal right now, so this cover concept is really just for fun. Meanwhile, I am working on a book proposal and an introduction.

  24. Peter

    Awesome! I think this is perfect as it is. No need for more violence- the typewritten revolution should be one of living reason crushing soulless digitry. A velvet revolution for the information age. As such, the Optima is a perfect machine.

  25. Scott

    I suggest a raised fist but that might evoke unwanted connotations. Then again, it does fit with this particular Optima's history.


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