Harry Potter and The Scary Book Design
I’m probably now one of the millions of “children” that have finished reading the last installment in the Harry Potter series. But the interesting part of this is the amazing cultural fall out that this book series has created.
My cousin was telling me about some attention seeking juvenile that while on the bus blurted out key plot endings from the book and in the process pissing off almost everybody else on the bus. Pretty funny eh.
I can also remember a day after the official, much hyped, launch of the book. I spied no less than 7 people either carrying or reading the book in my short 10 min walk from the local cafe back home. There were at least 2 people walking while reading, 1 clever person just carrying the book instead while walking, and another 4 or so sitting around the park reading it.
How could you tell they were all reading Harry Potter?
1) It’s a damn thick book.
2) No one in the right mind would be juggling a hard back (cover) book so thick with their other things.
3) Some of the oddest and gaudy book jacket designs to date. (I don’t mind the locket, but the one with the myriad of colors it just forces all the detail out of the picture. I only forced myself to take a closer look half-way into the book.
However it was mainly the absurd thickness of the book that drew my attention and reminded me of this quote:
Design is the silent ambassador of a Brand ~ Paul Rand
I think other than the iPod there is no other product out there who’s design of it matted so much. I wonder if the physical design of the book, and the graphics of the jacket cover could have been better considered as a means to better communicate some of the brand values? Don’t know I am undecided, but what do you think?