January 15, 2016

Infinite Jest 20th Anniversary Edition: Fan-Designed Cover Contest Winner Announced

For the 20th anniversary of the publication of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, Little, Brown held a contest for the cover design.

Michael Pietsch, CEO of Little, Brown parent Hachette Book Group, and DFW's editor for IJ:
The internet has made it possible to see the massive amount of creative response readers have to Infinite Jest. I'd seen a lot of art connected to the book online, and it seemed that allowing readers who have loved it to submit cover designs for the anniversary edition was a way of honoring and highlighting all that creativity.
The winner is Joe Walsh, a designer in Ohio. The edition will be released February 23.

Walsh shared his creative process (with many drawings) here.

I am disappointed in this cover, though I'll buy the edition because (a) it's my favourite book of all time and (b) there is a new introductory essay by Tom Bissell.

Chris Ayers at Poor Yorick Entertainment posted some of the entries while the contest was still going on. I really liked Ayers's submission:

If Little, Brown wanted something video cartridge-related, they should have chosen The Made Shop's entry:

It's beautiful - and the infinity loop of the tape makes far more sense than the eye on the winning entry. I don't understand the inclusion of the eye at all.

The Made Shop should release a dust-jacket-sized version that readers could print out and use.


Dr. Jeff said...

I agree completely. Though I thought when I saw the winning entry that it was referencing a microwave, not a tape or TV

I wonder if they chose the one that is a sketch (instead of something more slick) to emphasize that it was a reader entry instead of a design firm.

allan said...

The UK cover!