Monday, October 27, 2008

Metacognition: Memoir Project Book Cover

The book cover provided a visually artistic piece and because of that I immediately knew that I wanted to do this particular project. I came into this project with a clear idea of what I wanted the cover to depict. A major theme in Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris is the idea of a dysfunctional family that stands as the stark opposite of the ideal American family. The whole “white picket fence” idea is defied by this memoir. Also, Sedaris chose to open the book by discussing television, implying the controlling effect that it has, as well as the tendency for people to think that watching television is something done by everyone. I knew that these were the themes that I wanted to portray on my cover. Having a clear idea allowed me to be particularly enthusiastic about this project.

There were several components to my cover, each one symbolizing or exemplifying a theme of the memoir. First, I drew a man with the head of a television. This image served as a symbol of the mental effect of television including its tendency to dictate a lot of what people believe (even if the information depicted is false). The image on the television screen is of a 1950s family sitcom that depicted the “perfect family”. Many 1950 sitcoms come with the connotation of being about the ideal American family. I chose this image for the television screen because it showed a family that was the polar opposite of the Sedaris clan. Also, the idea of the “perfect family” is an idea that has been embedded in the minds of Americans by television. Actually when I printed the image of the family my printer messed up the color, making pinkish lines appear across the image. I decided not to reprint it because it gave the effect of poor quality on a television. This fortunate mistake could be interpreted as a defilement of the perfect family, an idea present in Sedaris’s memoir. As far as color scheme and other minor design elements, I just included them because they were visually appealing.

The strengths of my book cover include its visual appeal, relevant pictures, and the catchy hook on the back. I really put effort into the ideas behind the cover. I wanted to explain the themes of the effects of television and the idea of a dysfunctional family and I believe I achieved this. I also wanted the hook to be engaging and mimic the tone of a real back cover hook, which I also achieved. As for weaknesses, the finished product did have some glue wrinkles and I could have spent more time creating the blurbs on the back of the book to make them more exciting. On a side note, I used a picture from the internet but I did MLA cite it and the citation is pasted on the inside cover of the book. Overall, I enjoyed this project because it allowed me to express the themes of the book in a visually artistic way.