Great Covers: Loving Frank

cover-lovingfrankThis series will appear at random as I find covers that make me say, “Wow!”

Here’s the first one:  Loving Frank by Nancy Horan.  I was not surprised to learn that this novel was a NYT bestseller.  The cover is really wonderful.

Why?  It communicates a wealth of information without words.

This cover says “Frank Lloyd Wright” at a glance to anyone familiar with Wright’s work. Then the title, Loving Frank, informs me that this is a personal story about someone who loved Wright (and indeed it is, about Mamah Borthwick Cheney, who had an affair with Wright).

The cover designer (possibly at the publisher’s direction) included the pretentious “A Novel,” but I forgive that, because it’s otherwise a magnificent cover.

Here’s another thing that’s great about this cover: space. Look at all the open space! The art dominates, not the text.

Note how the title and byline conform to the art, rather than being slapped on top of it. They harmonize with the design.

Finally, this cover includes a “second-look cookie,” a detail that rewards the viewer who looks closer. In this case it’s the sunlit face, which doesn’t immediately resolve (or at least, it didn’t for me). In my opinion the face isn’t necessary, but it adds interest to the cover and doesn’t detract from its main impact.

Combined with a discount price, this cover made me buy a book I would never have gone looking for.

Congratulations to the uncredited designer for creating a great cover!




Great Covers: Loving Frank — 6 Comments

  1. …and look what just fell into my Kindle. Whoops.

    (It really is a beautiful cover. Artists–take note! 🙂

  2. Yes, the source photo is from a work by Wright. It is modified from a skylight in his Willits House. Interestingly, the glass had already been used (complete with orange color shift) as cover art for a book about Wright’s stained glass. The choice may have been deliberate; see for yourself.

    Heinz, Thomas A. Frank Lloyd Wright Glass Art. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1994.