Hlava 20 (Head 20) is a courageous project of two young writers, aiming to capture the essence of what it feels like to be on the first steps to adulthood.
While reading a manuscript of Head 20, I discovered a few fundamental factors, that were entirely specific to this project. I realized that trying to compete with, or imitate a literature which is already available on this subject, would be pointless, even rather counterproductive. Even though the book falls into this category (self-help, inspirational, motivational), creating an impression of seriousness and importance would not allow for the book to create its separate market segment, which has been its initial goal.
The book falls into this category only theoretically. In reality it lacks competitivness in quality of writing and inovativeness of presented ideas, which are its authors very well aware of. It has to create a category of its own. This should not be perceived as disadvantage, but rather the opposite.
At first it was essential to clearly define who is a key reader. When a person is 35+ years old, the curve of an intellectual growth begins to straighten out and this growth, or rather its momentum, begins to slow down. 20-year-old person also experiences much narrower growth (sort of a straight line sprint), which may seem extremely fast in comparison to a 50-year-old, in whose case the visual representation of the growth would be rather planar. Therefore, there is no problem for a 50-year-old to read a literature written by a 40 years old author. The perceived intellectual gap is rather vague. But in young age, a person practically transforms every two years. This fact must not be overlooked.
The number of readers older than 20 years of age, will be decreasing exponentially with each month of age. Not only will the style of writing be unsuitable, there comes another factor into play — “Why should I listen to some 20-year-old…?” In general, people(young people in particular) do not like taking advice from others, who have not yet reached any socially respected status. Therefore we needed to avoid looking too self-important. We aimed to prevent the thought of — “Oh, they are only 20 and already they think they are suited to be handing out advice” — to popping up in reader’s head immediately upon seeing the cover.
Since the book is written by entirely unknown authors and the key reader is around 15-20 years old, the most important aspect was to grab his attention by expressive visuals and bold branding. A reader of this particular age often receives the book as a gift, where the same exact factors come into play. Another important aspect is an effective use of humor, which is a sign of intellect and also introduces writers as friendly. Last but not least — delicately incorporated sexuality, which is an undeniable center-point of teenager’s life. After the complete specification of the brief was finished, these were the key aspects to incorporate into the design of the cover:
1. Innovativeness—unusual combination of forms and colors
2. Expressiveness —bold shapes with flat colors