Scope: Retail Software and Computer Book Publishing, National
Mission: Design a selling cover for a book that had already been on the shelf with little or no attention.
Key Insight: This design is one of the top-selling Macintosh books in the world. Now translated into eleven languages. When I designed this cover, I was actually making my transition from amberlith to the first Macintoshes available. I was not trusting that when I turned off the little beige box that my important designs would be there the next morning! This cover had been in print for a short time, with a simple cover. The book hadn’t been noticed. Peachpit Press’s founder Ted Nace had an open mind and was an innovator to work with. The core of my idea in this cover design—and subsequent cover designs for Peachpit, was how to make boring computer (difficult-to-slog-through) manuals as exciting as other book covers—give it an editorial twist. This book was also very smartly written, short and sweet, a new idea. For me, the computer had not been “humanized,” there was no emotional attachment to the thing that people can’t live without today. The obvious solution was to hug the darn thing. The brilliant illustration completed by Terry Widener and lots of warm fuzzy texture gave this little book a feeling of being wrapped up in a blanket. It worked, the book was and still is one of the top-selling Macintosh books in the world.