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Design Disaster

Today we continue with our self-appointed and majorly depressing job of ugly book cover muckcrackers. After two parts on fantasy we decided to plunge into the world of glitter, fluff and rainbows and find the ugliest children’s book covers on the shelves of the local book megastore. We did start with pounding hearts because in our minds we already saw disgustingly amateurish illustrations and scary typography but, to our surprise, the bad covers did not dominate the section of the store: instead we had to search a little. Of course, when we did we found exactly what we were looking for and more but, optimistically, a large portion of children’s book is not as ugly as what we present under the link.

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Every time we enter a book megastore looking for a gift, or just checking out new publications we have to avert our eyes from the pile of ugliness that attacks from every shelf. Of course, there are examples of good design but the amount of bad ones is terrifying. It’s often bland bad but sometimes it reaches the level of epically, hilariously bad – and this is our newest preoccupation: we’ve decided to publish a series of posts on the ugliest finds in the local bookstore.

Today one of the genres that invite the most kitsch, namely fantasy books. This is not a highbrow critique entitled “We wouldn’t touch a fantasy book with a pole and also they’re ugly.” This is more of “When we read fantasy in public places we hate that we have to hide the cover.” We’ve discovered that bad fantasy art falls into a couple of categories and follows a couple of graphic clichés. (When possible we show English language versions of the books for clarity.)

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