Why White Is Wrong

There is a small collection of books that I gathered from the library. They are vary in subject, but have one thing in common: they all have white covers. Actually, they have two things in common: they’re all white and they’re all wrecked. When will designers learn that a pure white book cover is a bad idea?

At an earlier point in its life,  ‘Designing Design’ by Kenya Hara looked wonderful, with its white cover and sexy embossed type.. But now look at it! Though I guess the stains do make the typography stand out more.

Granted, this is a library book so generally it get more use than books in someone’s home. But, in my not so humble opinion, books are meant to be used. I am careful with the books that I own and read but I still carry them in my bag where they risk being stained by make-up and read them without gloves where they risk being worn or dirtied by my finger tips. Unlikes this picture suggests, we don’t all live in gleaming MUJI showrooms and leave  our untouched books in the middle of the floor..

Designing Design does come with a dust jacket to prevent the book from staining. But why spend so much time and effort embossing the type is it is just to be hidden?

Poor Robert Mapplethorpe isn’t holding up that well either.. Even the title along the spine is beginning to wear off..

The winner in the white book cover category is certainly ‘Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams by Klaus Kemp. The glossy plastic cover is not simply a dust jacket but the entire book cover. The glossiness prevents most stains. It is also an excellent book about an excellent industrial designer – one who inspired most of apple’s designs – so I highly recommend that you purchase a copy for your design book shelf! I can guarantee that it won’t get ruined.


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