Salgood Sam ● Com

Illustrator, Cartoonist & Writer

About Design

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I don’t get asked to do it as often as i like,
so i’m going to talk about book design a bit now and then…

Don’t get me wrong,
I like both of these.
But still…

Was going to post about Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis on my personal Facebook profile this morning, a fascinating and scary recently diagnosed illness. But then noticed this looking up details and thought it a good opportunity to mention something i’ve observed before.

This is a great example of a lack of innovation in book design, and as a designer the value adopting habits to help both your work, and the items you are designing stand out.

So you have two titles, of very similar wording, in this case about two very different things.

One was just released November 13, 2012. One published in 2010. It seems to me a basic best practice would be to research the tittle, and see if something like it exists already, and not repeat any design notes if one does, if you can help it. Make sure one book is distinct from the other with a similar tittle? So, no red band with B&W images for Susannah should have been a no brainer…ahem. Sorry.

I suspect that didn’t happen here. Not identical of course, but so close. A bit too close branding wise and so easy to avoid with a simple google search on the part of whomever was putting the packaging together for Susannah Cahalan’s book.

Given the older book also owns the URL one would likely look up for promoting Susannah’s new book, it’s hard to imagine you would not have seen this coming either, as a publisher or author or someone on the decision making chain. So I have to wonder if it was a case of just not caring. Or maybe they did, and decided to try to get a lift from people looking for a popular self help book? I don’t know but it gives me an excuse to mention; you get a commission to do a cover? Search the title and subject and be aware of what has gone before.

Something to think about the next time you’re asked to work on a job.   

Ok, with that, i did just listen to Susannah talk about her ordeal, and it’s fascinating stuff, possibly the origins of many cases believed to have been possession in the past. Listen to her talk about it here and try not to get paranoid the next time your hand feels numb.

Just because a thing has not been explained, does not mean it never will be. As a skeptic that was one of the things I came away thinking about after listening to this. A newly named disease humans have probably suffered from since there were humans, and before most likely. Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. In the past too many were probably diagnosed as mad, or possessed. 80+% of known cases have been women, and before 2002 no one new about it at all.

Links

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness & Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable, Word of Mouth Movements

http://www.brainsonfirebook.com/ – http://www.susannahcahalan.com/

And last, I like design so much,
I publish my own comic to get an excuse to do it.
Ok, maybe an exaggeration, might be the comics i’m more hyped about.
But it is one of the perks of putting out my own books…

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