Freak Paperback Lacks

Posted February 02, 2006 by Evan Tishuk

The paperback release of Freakonomics in the UK evidently needed a new cover design. I'm all for freshening things up a bit, but the new layout seems very...literal? To me, it's just too easy to go with a hodgepodge of stereotypes from the book. And why is it set upon a balmy and palmy beach scene (I don't remember that from the book at all)?

From Stephen J. Dubner:

As to why the British version doesn’t have the apple/orange: I’m not sure. It may be that the image couldn’t be licensed for the U.K. market (although the apple/orange has been featured on many other editions, incl. Italian, Korean, German, etc.); it may also be that our British publishers (who, I must say, are excellent) simply have their own sense of what works there and what doesn’t.

Well, it's not very intriguing and looks more like a checkout aisle tabloid magazine than a serious book. Does this say anything about the British culture or is it just a lazy design? Maybe the the publisher is scraping the bottom of the readership barrel and thinks they need to dumb it down a little? Or maybe I'm just being too critical.

The UK hardcover muffed the punt too, in my opinion. I guess I just don't understand what's appealing to the eyes of British consumers.


Keithums ~ February 02, 2006

Our British cousins are peculiar creatures. This cover does remind me of loud publications like the Sun and The Daily Mirror. That's the most polite way to say that it looks like ass on a stick, really.

olivier blanchard ~ February 03, 2006

The Brits do love their tabloids, after all.

Evan Tishuk ~ February 03, 2006

There so much good design work that comes out of the UK though.

Speaking of which, what is the difference between "United Kingdom" and "Great Britain?"

~ February 03, 2006

Great Britain is an island. United Kingdom is that island + Northern Ireland and some other territories and stuff.

olivier blanchard ~ February 03, 2006

"The UK" sounds a lot more shlipsy.

Especially if you're Belgian.

Evan Tishuk ~ February 03, 2006

Olivier: Could you please define "Shlipsy?"

Stu: Thanks for the clarification. I guess "Great Britain" and "Monkey Island" are synonomous in German parlance?

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