Friday, August 31, 2007

Describing Inner Experience? -- book cover

Whew! I've been chugging away so hard at a draft of my "Eyes Closed" essay that I've barely come up for air the last two days. But instead of trying everyone's patience with more of that, I think I'll toss up something visual: The book cover design for Russ Hurlburt's & my forthcoming book Describing Inner Experience? Proponent Meets Skeptic.

Russ and I gave a subject, Melanie, a random beeper which she wore during her normal daily activities. When the beep went off, Melanie was to make her best effort to discern and recall her last undisturbed moment of inner experience immediately before the beep. She collected several such samples a day, and then we interviewed her about them -- Russ as a proponent of this as the best way he knows of to get at people's real inner lives, I as someone pretty skeptical about the accuracy of introspective reports.

We edited transcripts of six days of interviews, with Melanie describing her randomly sampled experiences as best she could, Russ probing her about it based on years of experience with such interviews, and I probing in my own way and asking skeptical questions. We added several dozen side boxes continuing our debates and connecting what's going on in the interviews with contemporary and historical literature in psychology and philosophy. Finally, Russ and I wrote introductory and concluding chapters each from our own perspective.

But most importantly: What do you think of the tangled thread cover design? Pretty nifty?


Anonymous said...

Looks Great! Was it done by someone with the publisher or did you two come up with it?


Genius said...

Nice concept although the black and white probably doesn't make the book jump our at you in a shelf full of books. Whether that matters depends on what you want from the book.

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Thanks for the comments, Jennifer and Genius! It wasn't our concept, so I was pleasantly surprised! I agree black and white isn't especially attention-getting....

Unknown said...

great cover.

Anonymous said...

As a creative director and designer, I have to disagree with the comments about the black & white palette.

This cover is well designed and in fact, it is its minimalism--both in design and in color--that allow it to powerfully convey the concept. The restrained type treatment and red/orange subtitle are beautiful.

The result: a sophisticated and intelligent book cover.

Won't stand out? On the contrary...amoung a riot of colour (which has its uses) and visual cacophony, it will indeed.

Kudos to the designer, he/she knew what he/she was doing!

Much success with the book.

Anibal Monasterio Astobiza said...

Great deal!

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Thanks for expressing that, anonymous. My initial gut reaction was very positive. I think maybe you've articulated the reasons.