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I'm biased, of course, but I seriously think "The Cheat Sheet" is one of the best designed short story collections I've ever seen.  I gave my designer Nicole Pagliaro carte blanche and she chose a different design for each of the eleven stories, something I'd never heard being done before.  I wanted to know her thinking behind the design, so I shot her a quick email and here's what she replied:

After I read The Cheat Sheet, I was pretty surprised by the storytelling of romance in New York.  It's personal, it's eclectic, it's far from perfect, but it's all pretty dark.

So what did I get from my experience? Some semi-dark storytelling of a bunch of different definitions of romance.

In my brain this translated to a dark cover and eclectic use of type treatment. Made sense to me at least.

I was really inspired by Michael Beirut's 79 Short Essays on Design, as he designed his book this way.  I thought this way of "telling a story by telling stories" seemed pretty appropriate.

Hah, it's way too hard for me to bullshit this any more:  there's no real reason each font was chosen for each story specifically (definitely not any interesting reasons) but more for the aesthetic distinction between them as they flow in the book is what determined which font would be used for each story.

And here are the fonts I picked for each story:




I used "Archer Light" in the title header of The Boyfriend Trials.  How fucking girly does that header feel?  It's so full of sugar it makes me want to throw up.














Thanks, Nicole!

I certainly want you to check out the book because of my writing, but you'll also get the great gift of Nicole's great design along with it!

What are some of your other favorite book designs?



Genesis of HOW TO FAIL's Cover Design


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