High Fidelity

So, while this post sat in a forgotten midnight-internet-crash-induced-draft-coma, it occurred to me while designing ads in Starbucks that I hadn’t actually posted about the book I am in the process of cover-redesign-ing-ing.

When it comes to “High Fidelity” by Nick Hornby, there are a few things that come to mind: records, breakups, and lists of “the Five Greatest ____________ of All Time!” It’s a great read –really funny but heartfelt and relatable, even– and it has a pretty well done movie to go alongside it. It’s all about a man named Rob reflecting on his past breakups by going through reflective lists, as he struggles to deal with his current girlfriend Laura leaves him (for a creep, might I add).

In my research-y-process stage, I compiled a group of already-existing-designs… some of which are a little…bleh and ugly, to be honest. (Here’s hoping mine turns out better…):

The I'm-Guessing-Original Cover on Wikipedia. It's kinda...blue.
1. The first one I encountered was all…well. Blue. Which, sure, makes sense. It’s about breaking up and things that go wrong in relationships between men and women, and the ensuing emotional messiness of dealing with it. I suppose it fits with the male perspective and the mood in that sense, although I find that the cover looks a bit dated…

Penguin2. The next cover was so simple I wouldn’t bother picking it up in the store. It’s just a generic Penguin Books no-image-text-only design. In orange. And. Well. Just no.


3. In my mind, I consider this next one to be the “Retro” one. It has what seems like hand rendered type, and really makes me think of Russian Constructivism with the red sun-burst background, while reminding me of Dadaist Photomontage (almost) with the collage-y feel and floating albums. Kind of weird. Not particularly appealing for my tastes…although the story is still good…

Green4. The Green cover might be my favourite existing cover. It’s bright. It’s vibrant. It’s simple. The font is kind of imperfect and funky, but it completely makes me think of a record store and the vibe of the book. Sure, it is about break ups and there is some very real pain in there. But Nick Hornby’s style is witty, sometimes light, and even funny throughout Rob’s reflections. So. I think this is the best I’ve seen thus far in my research.

5. High FidelityPhotography. It’s the first cover to use it. This immediately brings images from the movie version to mind– boxes of records, boxes of Laura’s things being packed up, a now-broken-hearted-Bachelor pad. It feels sad, although the vibrancy of the author’s name is fun, and the messy font feels appropriate for the target audience and all. This one is probably my second favourite. But to keep with the theme of TOP 5, I’ll leave it here for now.


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