Type found on Flickr

I seem to be spending an awful lot of time wading through the Flickr Commons at the moment, looking to repurpose forgotten, obscure and wonderful images on new book covers. And oh my, what a treasure trove it is! A simple one-word search can bring all sorts of wonderments to the surface, even if they have very little to do with what you're looking for (this selection here were the result of a search for "theatre").

It seems cruel to cast the unwanted results back into the darkness of the Commons, so I thought I'd get into the habit of sharing the best discoveries on here. First up, a selection of type. For more details on each, the images link directly to the source. They've been tidied up a bit to get rid of all the extraneous details and scanning debris.


Peter Crawley will tear us apart


Illustrator and jolly nice chap Peter Crawley does some amazing things with a needle and some thread, but this stitched-soundwave interpretation of Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart is particularly splendid. Unfortunately, if you want to get your hands on it, it's too late – it's been snapped up by one Mr Peter Hook.


Okay, this was bound to happen. I'm not even ten books into my Bowie Book Club thing and I've gone and changed my mind about one of them. This is the problem with this sort of theoretical self-initiated project – there is no absolute end point. It doesn't get signed off by a client, it doesn't go to  print, it doesn't appear in book shops. So there's always the temptation to delve back in and tweak. Or in this case, completely reject.

Every time I see my original red boxy effort for Arthur C Danto's Beyond the Brillo Box, it niggles. It just doesn't have that oompf that the subject deserves. I honestly don't believe I would bother picking it up whilst prowling the art and design shelves in Waterstones (one of my favourite pastimes). It doesn't look grabbable or, even worse, sniffable.

So I'm now officially replacing it with this design, which hopefully does tick those boxes. 


The seventh of my Bowie Book Club covers is Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon. It's a great book – and a great film too – so this one was particularly enjoyable to design. To begin with, I was determined to do something with typewriters, but that seemed a bit too on-the-nose for a story about writers writing. And didn't hit the right balance between clarity and mystery. So then I tried to do something with bridges, but that was more a reference to the film (which has a running motif of symbolic bridges throughout) than the book itself. It did help me find the image for the Hart Crane cover though, so that approach wasn't a a complete waste.

And so instead we have this: Marilyn Monroe. Or more specifically, Marilyn Monroe on the day of her wedding to Joe DiMaggio. Or even more specifically, Marilyn Monroe wearing a short black satin jacket trimmed with an ermine collar on the day of her wedding to Joe DiMaggio.

And if you want to know what that's about, read the book.