A Graphic Designer clears his name
Back in November, I wrote an entry suggesting that the publishers of Douglas Preston’s book Tyrannosaur Canyon were trying a bit too hard to associate their book with Jurassic Park. The cover looked just like Jurassic Park and all the blurbs talked about how much better Tyrannosaur Canyon is than Jurassic Park (it isn’t by a longshot).
I recently received an e-mail from Howard Grossman the Graphic Designer who designed the Tyrannosaur Canyon book cover. He wrote:
I was poking around on your (very enjoyable) blog when I came across my name in an entry dated November 20, 2006. As a humble designer of book covers for the last 25 years I am wise enough not to go head-to-head with the enviable talents of Chip Kidd. That is why the actual cover I designed (see attached) makes sure to avoid any such direct “borrowing”. I think the two front covers placed side-by-side prove my innocence.
The original hardcover version (done for Forge books) used my design. I would be curious at who did the edition that you show on your blog. They completely rearranged the elements of my design to do exactly what you argue—that is, create a direct rip-off the Jurassic Park cover. But they didn’t stop there, they decided to “credit” me with the design.
If you’re listening, Chip—I didn’t do it!
Here are the covers in question:
As a photographer, I know that my profession occasionally shares a similar fate. Photo editors sometimes pick the photographer’s least favorite photo from a shoot, or they crop it in some strange way that fits their layout but completely destroys the carefully crafted composition. Try as we might, I guess we can’t control everything.
Previously: By nobody who brought you Jurassic Park