A post from Shady Characters


Hello! (Image by the author.)
Hello! (Image by the author.)

Two long-awaited parcels — one from W. W. Norton, the other from Particular Books — arrived this week. With just less than a month to go before publication, I now have some copies of the finished books! They’re both rather amazing.

Above left is Jason Booher’s* cover for W. W. Norton. My shoddy photographic skills don’t really do it justice at all: there’s some very subtle embossing in there that gives the cover design extra depth, and the matte finish is just lovely. I keep wanting to run my hands over it. Also not visible from the photo are the spine, back cover and flaps, all of which carry on the orthographic theme and which look great in their own right.

On the right is Matthew Young’s cover for Particular Books. One pleasant surprise for me was the way in which the front and back covers match up — you don’t have to buy two copies, of course, but they’ll look sharp together if you do! Very nifty. I also love Matthew’s use of what I believe is P22 Johnston Underground, the modernised, licensed version of Edward Johnston’s 1916 London Underground typeface. I’ve always wanted to use that typeface but never quite got it to work the way I imagined it should. Here, though, it is fantastic.

Needless to say, if either of these editions take your fancy then you can pre-order the book today!

I earlier (and erroneously) said that Judith Abbate designed this cover. Judith is instead responsible for the excellent internal design of the book. My apologies to Jason! On a serious note, I’m afraid to say that Judith is currently undergoing treatment for cancer of the appendix. Go here if you’d like to help defray the quite staggering medical costs that she and her family are facing. 

6 comments on “Unboxing

  1. Comment posted by Andrew Areoff on

    Send me a copy of this glorious book and I will both take some lovely photos of it for you and cherish and share the news to my followers.

    1. Comment posted by Keith Houston on

      Hi Andrew — I’ll pass on your request to my editor at Particular.

  2. Comment posted by Erik B. on

    What’s the difference between the British and American edition? Why do the brits get 6 extra pages? :-)

  3. Comment posted by Annie Morgan on

    Besides being more expensive (though I do like the dust jacket of the Brit edition!) that is my question, too.

    1. Comment posted by Keith Houston on

      Hi Annie, Erik,

      That’s my mistake — the page count for the UK edition is actually the same as the US edition. I’ll fix the error as soon as possible! The UK and US editions are identical except for the binding, jacket, and colophon.

  4. Comment posted by Annie Morgan on

    Thank you! I do like the UK dust jacket!!

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