Although I can guess at the purpose a theory book cover must fulfill and I can apply the reasons I would read such a book. It would be very beneficial to look into other theory book cover designs that I feel have succeeded and the reasons for this. I have carefully chosen ones that I am unfamiliar with and then looked to explain the contents. I will then research the contents and see how the two compare.
Somehow, instantly the lack of elements of this design seem to communicate the fact that the subject matter is of an evasive nature and possibly a theory or subject difficult to grasp. Also there is a contrast of messages created by the small input of image; the scatter of symbols at the bottom of the book, all at once it communicates the idea of something quantitate and exact with the vector like shapes, all edges and finiteness, and also through the scattered irregular placement of the symbols it communicates something more human and hard to define. The obvious connection here is to that of a scatter graph so added to these ideas is also one of data analysis and understanding.
Finding out what this book is about was quite a surprise. It turns out to be about dream, fairy-tale and myth analysis. When considering this in relation to my analysis the links are undoubtably all there. what this book cover seems to do is intrigue more than explain and the cover reveals its secrets as the book is read and understood by the reader, adding to the experience of the reader. it occurs to me that perhaps the cover is there to be engaged with as much as the book.
Of course this and the previous book cover are part of some sequence of books that are linked in aesthetic. However, this book title gives somewhat more away than the last. So, the slightly more simplistic visual is made up for. With the title in mind it is clear the the concentric circles are intended not only to make a link to the scientific understanding of the obvious things such as solar systems but also the more spiritual links with the shape such as a sunset and the more deep patterns of existence and physics.
I think the contents of this book are fairly self explanatory which I am uncertain whether this is positive or not. I guess the difference between this book and the society of spectacle is the fact that the content is much more at mercy of the readers interpretation and more difficult to define generally.
Once again there is an illusion to the manual and the interaction or relation to the individual in this cover design. The inclusion of the pencil suggests this enough with the sense of three dimensions and even the gnawed surface linking directly the the hand and therefore the person who held it. The most direct communication of idea is through the combination of title and the gnawing of the pencil. Instantly the quite general and hard to communicate idea of thinking is communicated. The use and shape of the line drawn by said pencil also adds greatly to the idea of linear development, in its self connected to thinking. I think it is a fair assumption to say that this book is a study of thinking...
I also found some wonderful book covers that may be nothing to do with theory but make use of interesting methods of design and work within the two colours plus stock limitations of this brief.
I adore the use of the shape of the book to make this design so communicative. It is incredibly powerful as a cover. the two colours used and the contrast of the yellow enhances this to a point of pain. The small touch of it and repetitive shapes shouts loneliness. This effective communication in the tone of voice of the subject matter is something I had not yet thought to communicate with my cover. The effect of such a deep theory about our own society is an unnerving one and perhaps the cover I design should reflect that rather than trying to be neutral, I should attempt to communicate the experience of reading the book, in all of its deep revelations and stimulated self questioning.
Because I ended up creating the ubiquitous pinterest board I also came up with some book covers that, although not theory or philosophy had a great condensation of information and communication that I just had to include in this post. Although such condensing of information for my book cover would be detrimental to message I think these are great feats of design and communication. Only really achievable because of the familiarity of the stories.