The brief: a series of short books that give an opportunity for radical, largely left-wing thinkers to address the world’s current challenges; usually referring quite heavily to reasonably contemporary political ideas and events. Serious but accessible books to give a voice to the thinkers, activists and politicians who are rewriting the rules of progressive politics, challenging austerity, fear and nationalism, and erecting the signposts to an egalitarian and democratic future. Short books aimed at a wide readership of general readers and students – long enough to allow the author to present his or her arguments with passion and flair but short enough to read in a single sitting. They should avoid being excessively academic and should aim to be inspirational, present new and original thinking on how we respond to the dire challenges faced by the contemporary world, from austerity and corporate power to the ecological crisis and racism. Titles will be quite varied and don’t fit a consistent pattern. Titles and authors’ names are both important. The typography needs to be easily readable in thumbnails shown in online sellers.
Solution: Eliminate photographic images from the design in favour of a strictly typographical approach. Covers with photos would end up with very similar images across the books: of crowds, protests, etc. Also, photographs of particular politicians or events will tend to date very quickly. The design solution therefore was based on a simulated torn page as if revealing a new layer/point of view. A rebel undershirt emerging from behind a formal shirt. Tearing used as a visual metaphor of a new radical attitude.
Polity is a leading international publisher in the social sciences and humanities fields, with offices in Cambridge and Oxford in the UK and Boston in the US.