Sunday, December 14, 2014

Announcing a Cover Contest

My previous post attracted a lot of comments, along with a couple of cover designs. So I have decided to issue an invitation to anyone who wants to propose a cover for the third edition of The Machinery of Freedom. It should include the title, the subtitle ("Guide to a Radical Capitalism") and my name. Including "Third edition" is optional, but probably a good idea.

The prize consists of a signed copy of every book of mine that I can get a copy of, which I think means everything with the possible exception of Price Theory. And credit to the artist in the book, if he wants it.

Here are the suggestions so far. I've trimmed the list by removing ones where the artist has offered a revised version I like better:

A

A2

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

K2


L

M

M2

M3


M4

M5

M6

N

 O

P

Q

R

R2
  
S

T

U
(possibly title page rather than cover?)

V

W

X
 Y

Z

Z2

Z3

Z4

AA

AA1

AB

AC

AD

This is fun.

113 Comments:

At 3:22 PM, December 14, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must say, I love that second cover. Simple, yet effective. I also like the contrast of the light-blue and orange.

 
At 3:35 PM, December 14, 2014, Blogger Lawrence Kesteloot said...

I made a cover for my book (which was never published). It has a "machinery" theme. Let me know if you like the general look of it and I can modify it for your book.

http://www.teamten.com/lawrence/projects/graphics_engine_cover/

Note that the image on that page includes the front and the back.

 
At 3:50 PM, December 14, 2014, Blogger David Friedman said...

Lawrence:

For my book, I think I like the second cover I posted better. My main reservation about that cover is the grey rectangle under the title.

 
At 4:23 PM, December 14, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The second one.

 
At 4:43 PM, December 14, 2014, Anonymous AbsoluteZero said...

Corrected version from my friend.
http://imgur.com/T5Wik5J

 
At 5:53 PM, December 14, 2014, Blogger Ricardo Cruz said...

Second one, for the simplicity ..

 
At 6:15 PM, December 14, 2014, Blogger David Friedman said...

Absolute Zero:

Thanks. I still find the grey rectangle offputting. Do other people agree? Would it work if that just wasn't there?

Art is not something I have any expertise in.

 
At 6:48 PM, December 14, 2014, Anonymous Dan said...

The one with the sky and grass image in the background looks in my opinion very amateurish and reminds me of a self-published book on herbal healing or something. The simple one with the orange gears is beautiful.

 
At 7:19 PM, December 14, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

please do not use the second one.................

 
At 7:23 PM, December 14, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really think the cause of capitalism and freedom would be better served by the grey design with the orange gears. It is much more elegant and better designed. This is not intended to be a threat but I was looking forward to the third edition's physical book release, so I could finally buy and read it fully. Honestly, I just don't think I could bring myself to buy and put on my bookshelf that one with the clearly template-fill in "design" with the rainbow sky in the background and the metallic gears and the titles in boxes. It's just hideous.

 
At 7:37 PM, December 14, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to clarify: please do not use the second one...... the one *** ft. the sky, grass & grey text boxes*******

 
At 7:46 PM, December 14, 2014, Anonymous AbsoluteZero said...

Another one from my friend. He calls this one the textbook.
http://imgur.com/uopLlxQ

 
At 7:52 PM, December 14, 2014, Blogger Dave Aiello said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7:58 PM, December 14, 2014, Blogger Dave Aiello said...

Absolute Zero, it looks like your friend's new design uses the same exact fonts and alignment that I used in my design. Tell him if he keeps it up and I'll have to call my rights enforcement agency!

 
At 8:35 PM, December 14, 2014, Anonymous AbsoluteZero said...

Dave Aiello,
I just asked him. Turned out he thought yours was David Friedman's own design. He actually did more variations but he asked me not to post those now that he knows.

 
At 8:58 PM, December 14, 2014, Anonymous AbsoluteZero said...

David,
My friend just sent this. It's his first one without the textboxes, as you asked.
http://imgur.com/rSqXfuL

 
At 10:34 PM, December 14, 2014, Anonymous AbsoluteZero said...

Yet another one from my friend.
http://imgur.com/Mbb2S6l

 
At 10:39 PM, December 14, 2014, OpenID wakalix said...

How about a version of the 1973 paperback edition? It has a "Don't Tread on Me" flag stuck in an a cracked egg w/ the U.S. flag on it.


https://wakalix.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/machinery-of-freedom-cover1-e1418624944845.jpg

https://wakalix.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/friedman-machinery-of-freedom-cover/

 
At 11:08 PM, December 14, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to throw my vote in for the gray with orange gears design. I don't mean to offend but my first thought on the second cover was that it was a book on finding inner peace through some sort of steampunk tea ceremony.

 
At 11:20 PM, December 14, 2014, Blogger Dave Aiello said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 11:20 PM, December 14, 2014, Blogger Dave Aiello said...

Here is a revised version of my submission: http://imgur.com/hOb8jcI

 
At 3:45 AM, December 15, 2014, Blogger Tibor Mach said...

Dave's covers are better. I'm not sure which one exactly, maybe the second one (with the one blue wheel) is still more interesting. One could probably play a bit more with the colours (including the background colour) and wheel pattern and generate a few variations, some of which might be even better, but generally, it is clean and neat and looks better than the competition.

What about making the background white and the wheels black plus maybe one wheel in a different colour (orange or blue probably)? I think the higher contrast would look better, with the grey-ish background, the wheel pattern does not come out as well as it could.

 
At 4:42 AM, December 15, 2014, Anonymous Anarchei said...

I have made three versions of the cover for your perusal, you can see them on my blog: http://anarchei.me/post/105262956725/book-cover-designs

 
At 5:21 AM, December 15, 2014, Blogger Ricardo Cruz said...

I think the order of the covers has been changed. When I and the others before me commented, the second one was the light-blue/orange one.

Professor Friedman, please label the covers, and set a deadline.

I like a lot the revised bluesky cover, but it looks a bit like a textbook to me. I would still go for the first revised cover ...

 
At 5:42 AM, December 15, 2014, Blogger Ricardo Cruz said...

1. Dave revised version
2. Anarchei, especially #3 (close call)
3. AbsoluteZero friend: very cool, but a little textbookish

 
At 6:33 AM, December 15, 2014, Anonymous AbsoluteZero said...

More variations from my friend.
http://imgur.com/5EKjTdj
http://imgur.com/9TxELvd

 
At 6:58 AM, December 15, 2014, Blogger Paul Sand said...

I have no graphic design talent, and my tastes are questionable, but: for the posted candidates, I'm seeing the "machinery" but I'm not seeing the "freedom".

Suggestion: google "freedom" images. Broken chains and raised arms to a sunlit background seem popular.

 
At 9:13 AM, December 15, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The simple gears-on-grey revised version is very good, but as another commenter stated it would be good to incorporate the "freedom" aspect as well.

From a pure marketability standpoint, a flashier cover might have a better chance of attracting (very) unfamiliar readers. The revised edition of the gears-on-nature, without the grey box, might suit that goal better.

I will say though that the version with the tire-tracks on grass does have one thing going for it - it definitely has a "we will build the roads" vibe.

You might want to make a post to the anarcho-capitalism subReddit soliciting suggestions/opinions.

 
At 10:04 AM, December 15, 2014, Blogger David Friedman said...

I've trimmed the collection of covers by removing ones where I like a later version by the artist better, and added two more by the second artist.

On the question of showing freedom, I see that as an advantage of B over A. But I'm not sure which I prefer on net. And I have added a link to Anarchei's versions on his blog.


As you can see, they now have labels.

One reservation about B is that the gears feel unbalanced, as if they are about to fall over.

 
At 10:21 AM, December 15, 2014, Blogger Kevin Van Horn said...

I vote for B.

 
At 12:16 PM, December 15, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A

 
At 12:32 PM, December 15, 2014, Anonymous AbsoluteZero said...

One more variation from my friend.
http://imgur.com/3uuXTUn

 
At 1:20 PM, December 15, 2014, Blogger jscoppe said...

Couple of entries:

http://i.imgur.com/O6EkOBk.jpg
This one is easy on the eyes, and a bit of a retro look (to harken back to when the first edition was written).

http://i.imgur.com/xV9PAb2.jpg
This one is a more contemporary look.

Both embrace minimalism.

 
At 1:53 PM, December 15, 2014, Anonymous AbsoluteZero said...

Another one from my friend. It is a cellular automata pattern.
http://imgur.com/Yly7HsI

 
At 2:32 PM, December 15, 2014, Anonymous Jack PQ said...

A (simple gray and orange) looks best

B looks too "generic self-published" although I like the concept

C, D and E are nice in a retro way, they look like they're from the 1980s, and that's not entirely a bad thing

 
At 3:52 PM, December 15, 2014, Blogger Alex said...

A or F. And a negative vote for B, if that's allowed.

 
At 4:01 PM, December 15, 2014, Blogger Unknown said...

A is best; the others are all equally inferior to A.

--Erich Schwarz

 
At 6:47 PM, December 15, 2014, Anonymous Tal said...

A is by far the best. C is OK. B, D, and E look extremely amateurish as if someone spent 5 minutes photoshopping them.

Specifically, the combination of 'machinery' and 'freedom' images is hard to do well. If there was some way to make the two types of image have some synergy or relationship, then maybe it might be good, but pasting some gears over a nature photo or onto a globe looks incredibly tacky.

 
At 7:31 PM, December 15, 2014, Anonymous LH said...

I'm glad that my Reddit suggestion was well received.

I think that among the new contributions, I and especially J are the best. Why not change the green section of J to yellow or gold, in keeping with the AnCap color motif?

 
At 7:57 PM, December 15, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is my submission:

http://imgur.com/XffQlyr

I will post it on reddit as well, that is where i found out about the contest.

I post under "goldenbug".

 
At 9:52 PM, December 15, 2014, Anonymous Alexander N. Andreassen (alexandernordby@yahoo.com) said...

I have a few entries into the contest!

All of my entries are minimalistic, so they will look better on digital devices and in smaller sizes, as you'd likely find them online. The high contrast of the designs also helps with clarity in any size. They're all made in illustrator using vectors, meaning they can be increased in size without losing quality. I can also add and change anything you'd want me to.

Here is my main entry: http://i.imgur.com/7Ap3jGe.png

Here is the same design with a different color palette: http://i.imgur.com/j5vmyXi.png

The first design packs more of a punch, and the colors are perfect considering the book, but the second one looks cleaner and feels less heavy.

Here's an album with more designs I spent the day making, most of them including gears: http://imgur.com/a/OEQRF#0

Let me know how you like them, and if there's anything you want me to change or alter!

 
At 10:02 PM, December 15, 2014, Anonymous Alexander N. Andreassen (alexandernordby@yahoo.com) said...

Oh, and all of the designs have 300 PPI (pixels per inch) so that they will work in print.

 
At 11:04 PM, December 15, 2014, Blogger David Friedman said...

They keep coming in.

 
At 11:20 PM, December 15, 2014, Anonymous Anarchei said...

I've updated my entry with a few more variations: http://anarchei.me/post/105262956725/book-cover-designs

 
At 6:49 AM, December 16, 2014, Anonymous bitbutter said...

J, the simple black and green one, is my favourite so far by quite a margin. Many of the others are too busy/fiddly, and imo 'over-designed'.

 
At 7:03 AM, December 16, 2014, Blogger jscoppe said...

Thanks bitbutter! That's high praise coming from you. Love your videos.

 
At 8:15 AM, December 16, 2014, Anonymous Alexander N. Andreassen (alexandernordby@yahoo.com) said...

Here's continuation of my previous design, further simplified, and with a very comfortable color palette:

http://i.imgur.com/GfemIgU.png

Here's a new design:

http://i.imgur.com/ytTlhzF.png

 
At 8:57 AM, December 16, 2014, Anonymous Anarchei said...

I'm curious as to why my cover designs aren't displayed like the others. I appreciate the link to my blog, but in order to make a fair comparison between the covers wouldn't it make sense if they were all in one place?

 
At 9:57 AM, December 16, 2014, Anonymous AbsoluteZero said...

My friend sent me one more.
http://imgur.com/HcSdcdv

 
At 10:10 AM, December 16, 2014, Blogger David Friedman said...

Anarchei:

Your first two blog figures, viewed on my machine, had no frames--the background of the picture was the same as the background the picture was on. It wasn't clear to me that they were three separate files, so I just linked to your blog. When I went to it just now to copy them, the second and third appeared to be individual files, the first I was able to get only by using a screen capture program, which I did. All three are now up here.

 
At 11:29 AM, December 16, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Submission (open-source, send the books to Austin TX Monkey Wrench Books)

http://i.imgur.com/mPGvZRE.png

 
At 11:30 AM, December 16, 2014, Anonymous AbsoluteZero said...

Another one with cellular automata from my friend. I think it's a variation of Game of Life.
http://imgur.com/WjeSGh5

 
At 12:39 PM, December 16, 2014, Blogger Tibor Mach said...

Wow, they keep coming...from me as of now:

A or G (maybe G is even slightly better)

Those soviet communist-style ones with the shaking hands and with the factory worker really made me laugh though :)

 
At 12:43 PM, December 16, 2014, Blogger Tibor Mach said...

Yeah, definitely G is still a bit better. F is good too though, but since G has more colours, it catches the eye more.

 
At 12:46 PM, December 16, 2014, Anonymous Ordo Spontaneum said...

Q. Devinitely Q. (JK! but it might fool a few lefties into reading it...)

For real: M, with N in close second. I like the colors on O.

 
At 2:25 PM, December 16, 2014, Anonymous Alexander N. Andreassen (alexandernordby@yahoo.com) said...

I'm the guy who designed the covers with the handshake on them. I wanted something that worked better than the gears, as they can be a bit generic, and end up making your book look like a engineering textbook. The bold, hard shapes of the handshake and the high contrast of the colors also packs a punch, which is important when your book is one among many. I also took the tip of one of the guys in the subreddit, which was to incorporate cooperation instead of deterministic cogs.

I did also make some covers with gears if you're interested. I'm always happy to get some feedback (these aren't submissions) :

#1: http://imgur.com/w7rk9Sm
#2: http://i.imgur.com/I5PQqvn.png

 
At 5:43 PM, December 16, 2014, Blogger Dave Aiello said...

Dr. Friedman, any word on a deadline?

 
At 5:47 PM, December 16, 2014, Anonymous Anarchei said...

Thanks for adding the images into your post. Here's a link to the first image on my blog post:

http://41.media.tumblr.com/3ec4d56334f929312862eb4821806224/tumblr_ngmi936YFG1qgklg6o1_1280.png

Apologies for it not being apparent where the images start and stop, I recently redesigned my blog and there are a few things that still need tidying up.

If you could include the last three images that would be great:

http://41.media.tumblr.com/41be0612aa9a47a66e96924d21578406/tumblr_ngmi936YFG1qgklg6o4_r1_1280.png

http://41.media.tumblr.com/627230a00584c2805815b75e38a2b58a/tumblr_ngmi936YFG1qgklg6o5_r1_1280.png

http://40.media.tumblr.com/2522a5cd5fb81e158a1b7b059e5d9341/tumblr_ngmi936YFG1qgklg6o6_r1_1280.png

 
At 6:11 PM, December 16, 2014, Anonymous Art said...

Sent my submission to your @daviddfriedman.com email

 
At 7:59 PM, December 16, 2014, Blogger Alex said...

Here is my attempt. I made two.

http://i.imgur.com/pJLM64m.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/OJPdPHz.jpg

 
At 8:37 PM, December 16, 2014, Blogger David Friedman said...


Anarchei and Alex: Thanks.

For some reason, I was unable to save either Anarchei's middle picture or Alex' first--the save on the file menu was grey. So I had to use screen capture instead.

This has happened with a few other images as well. I have not figured out why.

 
At 8:45 PM, December 16, 2014, Blogger David Friedman said...

It struck me, looking at U, that if I didn't use it for a cover it might work well as a title page.

I hadn't thought about a deadline, but I'm hoping to have the indexing done by Sunday, so I'll make that the deadline for cover submissions.

 
At 8:48 PM, December 16, 2014, OpenID wakalix said...

I prefer the covers with the handshake on them. I noticed that the initial entries had something in common: No people! Yes, the book title refers to "machinery," but the lack of people can play into the misconception that capitalism "lacks humanity." Or worse yet, a machine-like economy that Keynesians speak of. But, to paraphrase Charlton Heston, "The economy is people!" (Soylent Green)

The handshake elegantly connects capitalism with voluntary cooperation. It reminds me of the "Philosophy of Liberty" YouTube videos does by ISIL, the International Society for Individual Liberty.

In the book, David Friedman writes:

the institutions of private property are the machinery of freedom, making it possible, in a complicated and interdependent world, for each person to pursue his life as he sees fit.

The book's cover should embody this!

 
At 8:53 PM, December 16, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not like these. Some are better then others, but I think you can and should do better, or I fear your book will be judged by its cover for not being the serious, credible work that it is.

 
At 9:12 PM, December 16, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE the image of the house on wheels in the "Stop Fighting" seasteading video. I think that house, or an illustration of it, should be on your cover.

 
At 9:13 PM, December 16, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

house on wheels: http://youtu.be/qOa31wJD3G4?t=2m39s

 
At 10:22 PM, December 16, 2014, Anonymous NeedleFactory said...

To my eye, 'I' is by far the best. Simplest. Modern. Most professional. The only one I like.

The "machinery" on the cover, being minimal, suggests the ideas within are not complicated.

Some would like the cover to portray "freedom" but that's tricky. For example, the pastoral scene of 'B' or 'C' adds complexity without signaling "freedom" very precisely -- David's book is not an environmental tract!

 
At 11:54 PM, December 16, 2014, Anonymous Anarchei said...

Using some of the ideas from what has been submitted to the contest so far, I have gone and refined them somewhat and come up with two more designs:

http://40.media.tumblr.com/fa2ff200e6788e59eccfef4bfa50b296/tumblr_ngmi936YFG1qgklg6o7_r1_1280.png

http://36.media.tumblr.com/0285499f88ae075c30e9b906a3c18f54/tumblr_ngmi936YFG1qgklg6o8_r1_1280.png

 
At 1:51 AM, December 17, 2014, Blogger Tibor Mach said...

wakalix:

Handshake in general is a nice idea, but the particular rendering is very "soviet-style" to my eyes. It shares the sharp angels and extreme contrast of soviet communist propaganda artwork. That is not to say this is a reason it should never be used. It can look interesting sometimes, but I don't think it fits onto the cover of Machinery...I think it is just a bit too flashy for a book like this.

R-T are also very good (basically just a change of colours). I still think a white background would work even better, but I have a feeling of getting the "art critic" syndrome of knowing best what other people should do without knowing very much about how things are done, so I'll stop :)

One more thing - I would say the one-type-of-font title looks better than the cursive "The" and "Of" combined with the Arial-like "Machinery" and "Freedom". That is one of the reasons I changed my mind and see the F-G/R-T covers as better than A

 
At 7:39 AM, December 17, 2014, Anonymous Alexander N. Andreassen (alexandernordby@yahoo.com) said...

I took some of the criticism and comments and made some covers that shares the theme of voluntary cooperation that people seemed to like, while avoiding the soviet-connotations. I think my previous hands looks a bit better, and it could be especially cool if the hands ran around the spine of the book and around.

Anyways, here's two new submissions into the contest! I chose a new font that has some impact, so it wouldn't become boring without the previous hands, and I changed the composition of where everything is.

1: http://i.imgur.com/oSmfrRm.png

I finally found a way to incorporate the black and yellow here without the design feeling too heavy.

2: http://i.imgur.com/nkC5VlF.jpg

A more compact design with heavier focus on the gold and black.

Alternate color-palette for 2:

http://i.imgur.com/6qQiOXb.png

And: http://i.imgur.com/LWXyI94.jpg

That last one is good if you want something that isn't as aggressive.

For design 2, just add whatever palette-variation you prefer to the list. .

 
At 11:53 AM, December 17, 2014, Anonymous Ryan said...

I hope I'm not too late to submit a cover:

http://i.imgur.com/r2lLCYS.jpg

 
At 1:40 PM, December 17, 2014, Blogger Ricardo Cruz said...

Alexander, your #1 looks really great! Could you experiment with a softer color for the hands - the green looks a bit cheap.

Ryan - awesome! Could maybe each person be in a different pose? Maybe some talking, other playing, other with heads in head as if watching far away and protecting from the sun ...

 
At 2:25 PM, December 17, 2014, Anonymous Alexander N. Andreassen (alexandernordby@yahoo.com) said...

Ricardo, the color of the hands is yellow, not green. Here's a low-key palette, do you think that looks more professional?

http://i.imgur.com/PM5vNHo.png

 
At 2:36 PM, December 17, 2014, Anonymous Rick Wolff said...

Here's mine.
http://rickwolff.com/bucket/MachineryOfFreedomCover.jpg

 
At 3:33 PM, December 17, 2014, Blogger Ricardo Cruz said...

Alexander, the palette looked differently over my phone. I like the one you just posted. :)

 
At 3:37 PM, December 17, 2014, Anonymous Ryan said...

Rick, that is ridiculously good. DF would be crazy not to use that.

 
At 4:24 PM, December 17, 2014, Blogger David Friedman said...

Part of what I've been enjoying is the range of different approaches. A lot of talented people out there.

 
At 8:04 PM, December 17, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Birds flocking are an example of self-organization in nature. Hope you like http://i.imgur.com/FsImO33.jpg

It has kind of a Thomas Sowell vibe too.

 
At 11:30 PM, December 17, 2014, Anonymous Lana said...

I'm the anonymous right above me. I made a few new versions of it, now with gears instead of a white background and with stripes. The first three pictures show different brightnesses of the gears and the rest different colors of stripes/no stripes. I can combine those as requested. The third one on the album is my favorite though.

imgur.com/a/uCQvh

Also, apart from the spontaneous order aspect I mentioned on my last post, I also think that flying birds project more freedom than just gears and text.

 
At 11:33 PM, December 17, 2014, Anonymous Lana said...

Sorry to spam your comment section, I pasted the wrong link, the ones in the above album have an issue with the right edge of the stripes/gear. Here is the good one http://imgur.com/a/4tW5u

 
At 12:54 AM, December 18, 2014, Anonymous Anarchei said...

Got two more to add, these will be the last entries I make into the contest:

https://33.media.tumblr.com/d9b53ab54c3b730731b2b6628494e89b/tumblr_ngmi936YFG1qgklg6o9_r1_1280.png

https://38.media.tumblr.com/7ccbd4c1957f97b433281ebc63d87e09/tumblr_ngmi936YFG1qgklg6o10_r1_1280.png

The previous two cover designs I entered aren't displayed in this post yet, however links to the images are in my last comment.

All my entries are on my blog: http://anarchei.me/post/105262956725/book-cover-designs

 
At 1:02 AM, December 18, 2014, Anonymous Anarchei said...

Just a heads up to everyone entering their cover designs, it is good practice whenever using text in an image to use the PNG format. BMP doesn't lose image quality but the file size is too large, and JPG has a small file size but loses quality, causing pixel artefacts around text. PNG is best because you can maintain quality and keep the file size relatively small. You should also be using at least 300ppi for printing.

 
At 4:45 AM, December 18, 2014, Blogger Oskar said...

Here is my entry. I kinda want to tweak it a little bit, but I'm not sure if I have the time.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/16993876/MachineryOfFreedom/machineryOfFreedom_06.jpg

The design should speak for itself, but if not, here are the thoughts behind it:

The illustration is supposed to depict the evolution of society, from the solitary shelter, to the village, to the city and beyond. The city is a hotbed of human creativity, as represented by the color explosion. The spaceship show the incredible technological progress and all the new frontiers that human creativity and cooperation can unlock.

As you read the subtitle "Guide to a Radical Capitalism", your eyes track the story of the illustration from left to right. The word "Capitalism" conveniently coincide with the beautiful unpredictable color explosion.

The illustration also has the shape of an exponential function to represent the economic growth capitalism makes possible.

 
At 5:15 AM, December 18, 2014, Anonymous Alexander N. Andreassen (alexandernordby@yahoo.com) said...

What Anarchei said is very important, especially on covers that aren't wholly vector based. Here's the difference between 72ppi (what you see on a screen) and 300ppi (what you see in print)

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/relative-sizes.jpg

You can imagine how a 72ppi imagine blown up to 300ppi might look not that great.

 
At 7:11 AM, December 18, 2014, Blogger Oskar said...

Good point. Here is my entry as a png:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/16993876/MachineryOfFreedom/machineryOfFreedom_06.png

 
At 10:20 AM, December 18, 2014, Anonymous Alexander N. Andreassen (alexandernordby@yahoo.com) said...

Friedman, could you replace M3 with this:

http://i.imgur.com/PM5vNHo.png

That wasn't an entry, but an alternate color scheme. I don't want to take up too much space on the page with the same designs, and I think the composition in the link above works a bit better. Thanks!

 
At 2:33 PM, December 18, 2014, Blogger David Friedman said...

I've just updated the list of covers. Several points:

1. If you sent one and it isn't there, tell me—I could easily have missed some. Also if there is one you want removed because you like a later version better.

2. When this is over, I plan to create a page for my web site with a selection of my favorite covers. If you don't want yours included, let me know.

 
At 3:31 PM, December 18, 2014, Anonymous Dan said...

A and I are best in my opinion

 
At 4:03 PM, December 18, 2014, Blogger Oskar said...

I refined mine a bit. I added some trees as well, because not only gears, cities and spaceships are important in life

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/16993876/MachineryOfFreedom/machineryOfFreedom_08.png

 
At 4:14 PM, December 18, 2014, Blogger Ricardo Cruz said...

Oskar, I actually prefer your first version, especially the font you used for "Guide to R.C.". Please leave the first version for vote too.

 
At 9:24 PM, December 18, 2014, Anonymous Anarchei said...

David, if you could, replace G with this:

http://41.media.tumblr.com/3ec4d56334f929312862eb4821806224/tumblr_ngmi936YFG1qgklg6o1_1280.png

You're also missing my handshake cover, which I suppose could be slotted in with the Ms:

http://40.media.tumblr.com/fa2ff200e6788e59eccfef4bfa50b296/tumblr_ngmi936YFG1qgklg6o7_r1_1280.png

Thanks.

 
At 11:32 PM, December 18, 2014, Blogger David Friedman said...

Anything still missing?

 
At 8:04 AM, December 19, 2014, Blogger Oskar said...

sorry for the spam. I did a slight revision to mine. I changed color of some of the splash to make sure it absolutely can not be interpreted as blood.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/16993876/MachineryOfFreedom/machineryOfFreedom_08.png

 
At 11:27 AM, December 19, 2014, Blogger Tibor Mach said...

Wow, now there are already many good ones. I don't even know which I like the best :)

 
At 11:46 AM, December 19, 2014, Blogger David Friedman said...

As many of you probably realize, the point of the title of the book is summed up in part of a sentence from the introduction:

"the institutions of private property are the machinery of freedom, making it possible, in a complicated and interdependent world, for each person to pursue his life as he sees fit."

Judged by how well it represents that idea, I think cover Z4 would win, since it links the ideas of machinery and freedom rather than portraying only one, or both separately. That doesn't make it the best cover, since the purpose of a cover is to attract people who haven't read the book, not to summarize the point of the title in a way those people won't understand.

But I do like it.

 
At 1:36 PM, December 19, 2014, Anonymous LH said...

AA is great. Progression of technology/material wealth with a chaotic but beautiful frontier.

 
At 3:35 PM, December 20, 2014, Blogger Jonathan said...

You said it yourself: "the purpose of a cover is to attract people who haven't read the book". So it seems to me that the cover should be friendly and inviting.

Of the ones currently shown, I think I like C best: it has a friendly and inviting landscape with a gentle overlay of gears. I wouldn't call it perfect, but some of the other designs look unfriendly and uninviting to me. In particular, any monochrome design looks dull and forbidding; and I'd avoid anything that looks old-fashioned.

The use of gearwheels is a straightforward indication of 'machinery', but perhaps rather unimaginative.

I could imagine an artist producing a fantasy machine composed of diverse colourful elements combined in a surreal manner; but I'm not an artist so I won't attempt it.

 
At 6:33 PM, December 20, 2014, Blogger Godfrey said...

My wife and I like "J" the best. It looks like a serious book.

 
At 8:20 PM, December 20, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My humble contribution...

http://i.imgur.com/ino6cN6.png

 
At 12:08 AM, December 22, 2014, Blogger David Friedman said...

The contest is now closed. I expect to decide which one I like best sometime in the next few days. People here are, of course, welcome to express opinions.

Just remember that the cover is aimed at people who haven't read the book. Its function is to attract readers, in particular the right readers, ones likely to like the book.

 
At 5:41 AM, December 22, 2014, Anonymous Chris Goss said...

AA is my favorite.

I like how it visualizes anarcho-capitalism as a natural progression from the present and presents it as unfettered, bold and exciting. I think it conveys the spirit of the book better than any of the other covers. Plus, it's eye-catching.

 
At 8:15 AM, December 22, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

C and M3 are my favorites. I like the combination of naturalistic and machine imagery in C and the yellow and black color scheme of M3--isn't that a symbol for anarchism? Also the handshake emphasizes voluntary cooperation.

 
At 8:18 AM, December 22, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

J is also quite nice.

 
At 1:51 PM, December 22, 2014, Blogger BrittanyLiberty said...

1) A2. It inspires interest, has a great color scheme, and I like the spill-over with the gears. It Would look great if the image wrapped around the spine of the book. Also, I really like the the color scheme with the orange and blue gears. The main reason why I chose this one over the other gear designs was the typography, the colors, and it just looks more polished.

2) Y. Love the blueprints in the background and the deep blue color scheme. The lettering has a bit of a retro look and maybe could be improved, but overall it's very well done.

3) Tie - Z3, Z4, AB. These designs all look very clean, but could maybe use some color to really make them pop. I like the lettering on AB, as it uses the same style as A2. I also like the different take on machinery, going with a more futuristic feel. Z4 is nice, as it tries to incorporate "machinery" and "freedom". It looks very clean, though may be trying to do too much. Maybe if it had some color and used the same typography as AB, this would be my clear 3rd choice.

4) AA. This is a very clean design that really pops out, but might be a bit too loud to use as the cover. Also, not sure if this is stock imagery or an original design, but either way it's well done.

Honorable mentions: M3, AC, G. M3 is in my opinion the cleanest looking of the "handshake" designs. Also like the black and gold colors. AC is a very nice design, and seem to be taking a more futuristic perspective on machinery such as AB. It would probably look nicer if the background was a bit lighter. G is my favorite of that style gear design. It reminds me a bit of "The God Delusion" by richard dawkins, though I definitely prefer A2.

 
At 11:39 AM, December 23, 2014, Blogger David Friedman said...

Still thinking about it—and my agent hasn't gotten back to me with her opinion since the last ones were added. I've polled my wife and daughter, and found little overlap between their preferences and mine.

It occurs to me that if one really wanted to represent the idea, a steampunk version of Z4 could do it, with a bird that looked like a bird from the outside but machinery inside. Perhaps some day I'll get someone to do that, not as a cover but for my web page or to print out and hang on the wall.

 
At 12:05 PM, December 23, 2014, Blogger Ricardo Cruz said...

Professor Friedman, please freeze the submissions and allow us to vote. :)

It would be cool if blogger.com would allow rating images. But people can just comment with a list of their favorites covers, and then you could sum up the votes for each cover. You could put for selection only a subset of the submitted covers, to simplify your life.

 
At 1:16 PM, December 23, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also think the gears inside of the dove is a nice concept. The publisher might want to create something based on it mixed with some of the other ideas and a more exciting color scheme. The blue and gold scheme is nice. So is the color of the spattered paint design. The physical book dimensions would affect some of the designs I think. The designs where the text takes up the whole cover might be too big if the book is over seven inches or so. I like the more modern text.

 
At 1:40 AM, December 24, 2014, Blogger David Friedman said...

I have frozen the submissions—Sunday was the deadline. People get to express opinions, but the deciding vote is mine.

I'm currently planning on a 6x9 size.

 
At 12:27 PM, December 24, 2014, Anonymous Alexander N. Andreassen (alexandernordby@yahoo.com) said...

Here's one of the covers I submitted into the contest in 6x9.

 
At 12:28 PM, December 24, 2014, Anonymous Alexander N. Andreassen (alexandernordby@yahoo.com) said...

Forgot the link:

http://i.imgur.com/2bhVruq.png

It doesn't make a huge difference, but maybe It'll help to have it in the correct aspect ratio.

 
At 4:16 PM, December 24, 2014, Blogger Martin Lindfors said...

I think some of these covers are amazing at expressing decentralized organization. That is kind of the main takeaway from the book, in my opinion, so the cover should represent that.

For instance, Z and AA1 are very stunning. Please pick one of those!

 
At 5:15 AM, December 28, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A and X are my favourites. Q looks like a Nazi propaganda poster.

 
At 7:03 PM, January 09, 2015, Blogger David Friedman said...

Finalists:

My favorite covers are by Anarchei and David Aiello, and I would like to discuss with them, in email, possible detailed changes. I have an email address for David but not for Anarchei. My email is:

ddfr@daviddfriedman.com

 

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