Thursday 2 August 2012

Seeding Double

Two books, one title, and very similar covers: the first, published late in 2011, is designed by Cody Tilson, and is a science-fiction novel about a thoroughly fucked and Monsanto-ed future

The second, published in July 2012, is from Amazon's 47North imprint: designer unknown.

I'm definitely not accusing the second designer of ripping off Cody: I suspect it's a coincidence. But it's a very striking one.


Christina said...

Whoa. Those are similar.

I actually think I like the second one better, although both are really cool. There's a bit more going on.

Ian Koviak said...

I did her cover for her latest book The Neighbors (

I suppose this cover has the general feel too:

I was actually asked to try stuff along the lines of that second SEED cover. I think in general, as designers, we get asked to try certain things and so similarities arise. The second cover is nicely done and obviously the mood and effect is dramatically different then the first SEED cover—albeit similar in tones and layering effects and the obvious use of branches/roots etc.

I get asked to make something look like something else all the time. At a certain point, achieving a stylistic feel of something is not a matter of originality, but tapping into pop culture and what has sold before. Most designers rarely start the process thinking, "How can I make this look like this other persons cover?". I think they are asked to do so and begrudgingly "try" to do so while all the while hoping that a more original looking idea is chosen. But in this case—the way the titles are treated, the use of devil characters, and many other nuances make these pretty different visually. The first cover is basically an "ALL TYPE" solution—relying heavily on the typography to communicate the core idea—the later uses an assortment of visual devices to communicate the story.

I did a cover a while back that could be considered a copy of this general theme as well:

Guilty as charged.

JRSM said...

I love that The Neighbours cover, Ian.

The covers are quite different in many ways, as you say, and it's the thumbnail-size versions that make them look more similar than they are, along with the identical titles. I really like both covers, to be honest.