A View from Beneath the Dancing Elephant
How IBMers helped design the book's cover
|MBI Concepts Corporation||
THE WINNER IS!
The graphics team did an amazing job, not only enhancing the tear but the overall image of the elephant and its eye. I would recommend this team to those publishing a book.
TLC Graphics provides custom publishing guidance for the serious small or Indy publisher. Services include award-winning cover and interior design, editorial, printing, ebooks, and beyond.
Matt Anderson is a commercial photographer, graphic designer, digital artist, trainer, digital asset workflow specialist, and consultant from the Midwest. Capture-creation to distribution, print to web, and everything in-between.
Thanks to everyone for all the comments on the book covers. I received input from multiple Linkedin groups.
This cover was dropped first.
In this image my daughter (an artist) told me that it looked like a "product label" rather than a book cover. A lot of that had to do with the font, but when one of the younger generation told me it looked like the label on the beer he drinks, it was history.
This cover was eliminated next. I think we could have improved this one tremendously by playing with the keyboard and making the words respect, service and excellence more visible. The book is definitely about those words and their meaning to an IBM employee-owner.
The team did put a better dancing elephant on the keyboard. This book had the best "business book" feel of all the potential covers, but I really wasn't going for just another business book. Maybe university professors do that, but I am writing to IBMers worldwide first, and the "view from beneath" doesn't look like a nice, neat, normal business-as-usual environment.
This cover was leading for a long time. It was the first choice of many - including family, friends and you guys. It has the best colors for a red-green color blind person like myself too. I was concerned about the perception of the book being just another "technical" book about IBM. This book is not technical; and it is not an economics book. it is a book about a changing culture. I have stored this cover away though as if I don't succeed with this book, I am going to start writing science fiction; put beady eyes on it, and call it "The Elephant Empire Strikes Back." Heck, I could probably sell thousands of those with just the cover and title!
I personally contacted several folks and asked if they noticed the tear in the next two covers. They had not. When I asked them to take a second, closer look, they loved both covers. They basically said, "improve the tear." The team improved the tear and the eye. The choice between these was difficult but ultimately - this book is about Big Blue. It is about a culture that is undergoing change. It is asking if the changes to enter the 21st Century have been good, bad or even necessary.
I believe it is apparent that many an IBMer has left the Big Blue company in a sad state over the last fifteen years. It also asks if the IBM of the Watson which focused on the heart and soul of the company would be having some feelings about what is going on today. This perspective can only be seen from below, standing directly in front of what some many fear today and looking to see its soul. It goes without saying that this perspective will not be found, from atop, while digging your spurs into its sides.
I think this cover expresses the new century the best. Based on new research on its leadership, the stories about the 21st Century R.A. Days, and especially one 24 hour R.A. Day on January 21, 2009, everyone will understand why the elephant has a tear in its eye.
Thanks to everyone,