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Is this the most ingenious book cover design ever?

Penguin Galaxy book covers
The Penguin Galaxy series (Image credit: Alex Trochut)

They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but with book stores often goldmines of brilliant graphic design, it can be hard not to be swayed by a beautiful cover. One particularly inventive design is currently doing the rounds online – and it might be one of the best we've seen.

The back cover of this edition of Frank Herbert's Dune features a seemingly abstract quartet of semi-circular shapes. On closer inspection, these spell out the title of the book. And they'll do so whichever way you happen to be holding the book up. It's an ingenious piece of typographical design (check out our top typography tutorials if you're looking for more inspiration). 

Back cover of Dune. Turn it and it always says DUNE. Design by Alex Trochut from r/DesignPorn

The design by Alex Trochut (opens in new tab) adorns the back of the Penguin Galaxy (opens in new tab) edition of the novel. Trochut designed covers for 6 novels in the sci-fi series (below), including 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Once and Future King. Published in 2016, the collectible hardcover editions feature typographical front covers, along with a more minimal and abstract version on the back.

Penguin Galaxy covers

Front (top) and back (bottom) (Image credit: Alex Trochut)

The Dune cover is particularly impressive not only for its clever rotation trick, but because it also manages to work as a pleasingly minimal and symmetrical standalone design before you even spot that it spells out the title of the book. 

The design recently reappeared on Reddit (opens in new tab), where it has already received over 13.5k upvotes. "This is my favourite book and I love the look of this," one user comments, while another adds, "this is the best design porn I've seen".

We can't help but wonder if the team behind the upcoming Dune film took inspiration from Trochut's cover. The film's title treatment features a similarly minimal look – only this time it was so minimal that many took it to read 'DUNC'. While we wouldn't blame the team for having taking inspiration from Trochut's design, perhaps they'd have done well to check out our logo design guide.

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Daniel Piper
Daniel Piper

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).