Monday, May 16, 2011

Motel text! (AKA apparently 1992 is the future now.)

Not to be confused with "Rubik", which turns everything it tags into an immensely frustrating match-up puzzle.

I was talking with a friend just now and he linked me to the Wikipedia page for Philip K. Dick's novel Ubik:

The novel takes place in the "North American Confederation" of 1992, wherein technology has advanced to the extent of permitting civilians to reach the Moon and psi phenomena are common. The protagonist is Joe Chip, a debt-ridden technician for Glen Runciter's "prudence organization", which employs people with the ability to block certain psychic powers (as in the case of an anti-telepath, who can prevent a telepath from reading a client's mind) to enforce privacy by request. Runciter runs the company with the assistance of his deceased wife Ella, who is kept in a state of "half-life", a form of cryonic suspension that gives the deceased person limited consciousness and communication ability.

The story sounds trippy as hell and I kind of want to check it out now, but the first thing that caught my eye was the cover, which I think is a really striking cover design. Usually that vertically-oriented text (which I think Shiro refers to as "motel text" or something like that) tends to look weird to me, but I think it actually works really nicely here. It probably has something to do with the fact that the letter widths are approximately the same size, so it produces this nice hefty text block that fits well with the spray can illustration. The limited color palette is also effective here, and the saturation of the red paint spray is counterbalanced by the heaviness of the title text (despite its pale yellow coloration).

What do you guys think? Does the vertically-oriented text ever bother you here or elsewhere? Do you like this cover?

1 comment:

  1. did you also notice the face in the end of the spray? the whole thing has this daunting effect to, almost destructive. i enjoyed reading about it.