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The votes have been counted & verified…the results are…

Roads-were-not-built-covers-choice

623 of you lovely people voted for the cover you prefer. Thanks for your input. Here are the results: Cover 2 got the most votes (295); cover 3 got the least (122); cover 1 came in second with 206 votes. The comments attached to many of the votes were fascinating – I’ve listed some of them below. Will I go with the democratic wishes of the majority? I don’t know yet. I am, however, inclined to knock out cover 3, leaving the choice between the stylistic graphic on cover 1 or the simpler graphic on cover 2.

There are also many things still to consider, such as legibility in iTunes, fitting a complex logo on to the printed book’s spine and other issues that don’t have to nailed down yet. One thing has come across crystal clear: the “not” has to be emphasised even more than it already is.

A SELECTION OF YOUR COMMENTS

I like the “not” to stand out. Loving the font in number 3 though…. 1 is just horrendous

1 definitely has a Victorian patent medicine feel to it for me. Love it. My 2nd choice is actually #2 as it does the best job of emphasizing “NOT”.

Cover one title is too cluttered. One or two typefaces maximum; cover one does not work in that respect. Cover three title is cramped. Cover two has a consistent typeface with “not” emphasized in a far more attractive manner than either of the other two.

Number 3 conveys a sense of optimism to me. That pairs well with the excitement in the cycling community today.

I think Cover 2 conveys the message more clearly but Cover 1 looks nicer. Since no car drivers will read it anyway we may as well have the nicer looking one.

I like this one because the “not” stands out more – it’s quite a complicated title anyway, so having the simpler font and this clearer emphasis does it for me. But I can probably see the simalr argumants for either of the other versions.

Prefer 1 and 3, because it highlights the words Roads and Cars, which I think it more attention-grabbing. Of those two, I like the way the R of Roads leads the eye into the title.

I like the dynamic look of the font and its arrangement on the page. Also like the serif / sans serif mix of #1 with the “R” adding to the dynamism of the thing.

At first I liked the 2nd because it made it clear that it is NOT. However, I think the font and style of the first is much better. It’s up to the reader to read

Cover 2 has the best emphasis of the word ‘not’ which is the key point of the book!

Cover one lettering is the clearest. Sign Design Guide recommends that text using Sentence Case is the most readable. Upper case first letter and lower case rest of the word. Words all in caps are not easy to read. This is instantly comparable across the three covers. The second two covers use all caps for the text. The first uses a combination of lower and upper case. In fact the first cover should also use this for the words NOT BUILT FOR CARS. ‘Not Built for Cars’ would be clearer. My two pence worth.

Cover 2 is too blocky and straight. Cover 3 is a good compromise but lacks the flair, quirkiness and character that I like in cover 1

I prefer the script of Cover 1, but the way that NOT pops out is appealing in Cover 2.

Looking forward to reading. The designs look terrific.

The different fonts for ‘Roads’ and ‘Cars’ kind of subliminally stops a natural association between the two. I think. All the best for the book.

[2 is] the only really legible one of the three; the other two are fussy/cluttered

Illustration is busy, so simple type contrasts well.

Cover 1 is more in keeping with the historical nature of the book. Very reminiscent of old bicycle adverts in which the artwork was drawn rather than photographed.

No.1 is purely instinctive choice for me, can’t explain why. Just trying to imagine it on display at the front of Foyles, which I’m sure it will be shortly πŸ™‚

I especially like the initial R on No1 but think the “NOT” needs to be a little stronger.

Use the font from cover 1 for the word “road” only, but keep everything else exactly as is on cover 2. It reads the most fluidly and highlights “not” in a cheeky “wait a minute” way instead of a yelling annoying way.
Like the sense of movement and perspective in 1 and 3. Chose 3 because NOT was emphasized most strongly and it is easier to read than 1. Cover 1 has a nice feel, but want that NOT to be stronger and legibility to be a bit better.

You need to be accentuating the NOT – this is the commonly held but mythical assumption you’re challenging with the whole book isn’t it? If you want to see attitudes and behaviour on UK roads change then it’s the common assumption that drivers have priority in all situations, at all times (because the roads are for driving only) that needs challenging. Otherwise, keep going and good luck!

Definitely option 2. The other two versions emphasise Roads and Cars and the “not” gets lost yet it’s the most important word in the title – the raison d’Γͺtre of the book in fact! (P.S. my wife agrees .. so that seals it)

I think the word “not” is key in the title for emphasizing the focus of the book. So, while they are all lovely, I strongly prefer cover 2. Regardless the cover, though, I am really looking forward to diving into your book. Congrats on completing the writing!

Prefer the way 3 looks artistically but think 2 will get more people to pick up the book – and that’s the point I presume.

Sorry but all three covers look far too congested! Any chance of a Cover #4 option?

Treatment one captures the Period of much of the crucial material in the book, placing it well, even before the reader opens the covers. I suspect that this is the preferred choice anyway, given its location and preselection.

I prefer #1 because the typeface of ‘Roads’ stands out much better, and makes a more appealing impact, in my opinion. The ‘R’ gives it some punch and character — and focus. I hope this helps! Best of luck! Perhaps you can come to do a talk in the Netherlands when it’s released. Please let me know when it’s ready. Best regards, Shirley Agudo

Number 2 seems clearer and does a better job of ensuring the casual viewer, bookstore browser(?), won’t miss the “not”. Incidentally, this is a point I made I a letter to the Victoria, British Columbia Times-Colonist. They ran a news article about an archivist at the University of Victoria uncovering a cycle route map that covered from the city centre north to the tip of the Saanich Peninsula and west to Sooke, distances of around 30 km. each. The surprising thing? The route map was published in 1896! My letter pointed out that this would be no surprise to any one who knows the history of cyclists lobbying for road improvements a couple of decades before automobiles were common.

The typeface in #2 is boring, and the style in #3 is too modern to go with the artwork. #1 matches the time period best of the three.

I don’t like the proposed covers. The design is too messy. I prefer the original draft as in the banner heading.

Asking unqualified lay-people to make design decisions is asking for trouble… πŸ™‚

They all look good.

Can’t wait!!!

Hurry up god dam it, I can.t wait to get my hands on it. Well done and keep up the good work.

26 thoughts on “The votes have been counted & verified…the results are…

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