advertisement
advertisement

The “Fire And Fury” Cover Is Hilariously Bad. Here’s A Better One

Artist Edel Rodriguez offers a solution to the explosive book’s egregious graphic design. How would you design a cover for “Fire and Fury”?

The “Fire And Fury” Cover Is Hilariously Bad. Here’s A Better One
[Images: Edel Rodriguez, Alex Wong/Getty Images (photo)]

Fire and Fury, the new tell-all detailing President Trump’s rollercoaster first year in the White House by journalist Michael Wolff, will surely go down as the hottest book of 2018. After several explosive excerpts appeared online, the book’s publisher pushed forward the publication date, and since then Fire and Fury has been topping bestseller lists while igniting a national conversation about Trump’s mental state. The publisher can’t print them fast enough.

advertisement
advertisement

But the book has some problems, as many have observed, and one of them has nothing to do with Trump: the cover. The book’s title and author name is set in a strangely angular serif font called Union, with all-caps Helvetica as the subtitle. The type is a mix of red and blue, floating against a white backdrop–an oddly patriotic palette, given the book’s contents (it recalls the bad design of the Trump campaign’s logo). To top it all off, the typography frames an unflattering photo of Trump that could have been pulled from a Google search. The design is as crude and as mystifying as one of Trump’s 4 a.m. tweets.

So the visual artist and designer Edel Rodriguez decided to take matters into his own hands and create an alternative cover. “I felt the original cover was very flat and simple, considering the huge cultural moment the publication of this book was going to become,” Rodriguez tells Co.Design in an email. “I felt there was more that could have been done with it. It truly feels like a rough mockup or a self-published book you might find on Amazon, not something that rose to the occasion.”

[Image: Edel Rodriguez]
Drawing from previous art he made for magazines like TimeDer Spiegel, and The New York Times (including one that might be the most iconic image of the 2016 election), Rodriguez imagined a graphic caricature of Trump’s face, with the words Fire and Fury replacing his eyes and nose. The president’s face is orange (of course) and his hair looks like it’s on fire–a visual echo of the book’s title that also points to Wolff’s descriptions of a chaotic White House in the election’s aftermath.

advertisement

Esteemed graphic designer Michael Bierut had the ultimate compliment for Rodriguez’s work, referencing the great French political caricaturist:

Rodriguez’s cover has gone viral, with thousands retweeting it. Others have also created their own collages–CNN reporter Hunter Schwartz included a few in his newsletter, though they mostly look like poor Photoshop jobs (one is a collage of Trump’s face and fire–very creative).

As for the original, perhaps the poor design was deliberate, as the blog Fonts in Use pointed out: “All capitals, and in your face, with the only possible color combination, a case could be made for it almost looking rushed. Then again, that is most likely the point: echoing the raw immediacy and faux-outsider aesthetics that underlined Trump’s entire campaign.”

How would you design a cover for 2018’s biggest book? Send your redesigned cover ideas to CoDTips@fastcompany.com, or tweet at us.

advertisement
advertisement

About the author

Katharine Schwab is an associate editor based in New York who covers technology, design, and culture.

More