Monday, 8 March 2010


What did cover designers do with London-set books before the London Eye was built? Before that, it seems London didn't have a skyline identifiable to book-buyers. Now the Eye itself is becoming shorthand for central London.


The Baxter and Scarrow books, by the way, are recent additions to the end-of-the-world library. The former posits sea levels that keep rising and rising and rising, while the latter is a very good end-of-peak-oil novel somewhat hobbled by an unnecessary and somewhat daft vast-international-conspiracy subplot

This is completely unconnected, but interesting... the design of a commercial book cover, condensed into just under 2 minutes, by Lauren Panepinto.


Brian Busby said...

Rather sad to think that this glorious city's skyline is now recognized for a ferris wheel. Growing up many thousands of kilometres away, I knew it for Christopher Wren's dome... even the Post Office Tower.

Not to complain... progress and all that. My home city's landmark, Mount Royal, was long ago hidden by skyscrapers.

That Hank said...

I have to tell you, no one I know would recognize the London Eye or know what it is. For most Americans, it's not part of our consciousness at all. Given that set of book covers, I would just wonder why all of them bore a Ferris wheel, if you hadn't stated what it was.

JRSM said...

And in fact, looking at the US editions, only the Faulks retains the Eye (very, very faintly). 'Londongrad' has the Eye Photoshopped out and replaced with Big Ben, while 'Flood' has a photo of submerging New York, even though none of the book is set there.

That Hank said...

Yeah, to your basic American, Big Ben = London = England.

Craig D. said...

There too many huge ferris wheels in the world that all look exactly alike for the Eye to be a recognizable London landmark for non-Englanders. Big Ben says "London;" huge ferris wheel says "huge ferris wheel." That skyline could be Tokyo for all non-Englanders know.

By the way, Mothra used Tokyo's huge ferris wheel as a weapon in one of the Godzilla movies. Beat that, London.