BGDD_CVRWanting to kick off October by with something spooky, I headed to the bookstore after work last night and picked up a copy of Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender. There’s just one problem. I don’t want to take it out of the bag. Why? Because the cover scares me.

As a graphic designer, I am sometimes frightened by book covers but, usually, it’s purely for professional reasons–a font choice here and a color choice there can have me cringing. Bad Girls Don’t Die, however, creeps me out for all the right reasons. It’s a highly effective cover and I thought it would be interesting to take a look at why it simultaneously has me wanting to turn on all the lights in the house and hide under a blanket and read it with a flashlight.

Two caveats: Though I am a graphic designer, I do not design book covers. I have no interest in designing my own book cover if I am lucky enough to get published. Onto the dissection:

The Font: Thin, stretched, and sans-serif is a perfect choice for the title. It’s skeletal and classic all in one. I especially love how “BAD GIRLS” is in caps and “don’t die” is in lower case–almost like a whisper. I like the way the author’s name is in a slightly heavier version of the font and in white, small letters–again, all lowercase.

The Curtain & The Pose: I have to believe this came out of a photo shoot. It’s just too perfect to be stock–even high priced, rights managed stock. The girl’s pose, her dark hair, and the angle of her head all remind me of The Ring. The lace curtain makes me think of a scene from The Others. the curtain also works on a symbolic level–it’s a veil and someone is behind it, someone who’s stepped into the real world but who hasn’t completely crossed over (I haven’t read the book, this is just what the image reminds me of).

The Use of Color: The light streaming in through the window is eerie and the touches of pink in an otherwise stark room are downright creepy. The nail polish on the toes is an  nice touch. I’ve always been rather freaked out by nail polish.

It scares me but I actually admire that in a cover.

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