Porn or Prude?

Okay, what do you think of the above proposed front cover design for our company’s new Catalogue?  

I think it looks faintly suggestive – all that red lipstick and glossy cherry.  But maybe I’m just over-reacting… 

Bear in mind, this Catalogue will go out to our international publishing clients to showcase our Children’s and Family Reference books.

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13 Responses to Porn or Prude?

  1. piereth says:

    Not much, if truth be told!!

    It’s a vaguely porno reference, and more than faintly suggestive. Odd choice for ‘children and family’ – what about Arabic and American clients? They might not be very amused!

    Having said all that I think it’s funny. 😛

  2. Jenny says:

    I’m wondering what it has to do with children and family?

    It does make me laugh, though. I wish I could do that!

  3. I can do that, I learned in college (don’t ask!). However, I fail to see what this cover has to do with publishing, reference books, or children and family. I find it more than suggestive and quite inappropriate. Call me an old fogey, but I think whoever thought this was a good idea should have their head examined.

  4. While not a prude, I find this to be quite inappropriate. Children and family is a specific demographic and includes people from deeply and differing religious ethos – (umm – ethosses, ethii – ummm – you know what I mean) as well as from varying cultural groups. From a strictly commercial point of view, this could be quite disastrous! Sex in the City clones are a distinct minority in a world-wide market.

  5. azahar says:

    Agree with what everyone else has said. Also, the reds clash!

    VERY bad idea.

  6. modestypress says:

    I would have to ask Random Granddaughter for her opinion.

    Oh, oh, she isn’t allowed to look at television, movies, and computer screens. Well, not very much.

    And, actually, her mommies are rather prudish.

  7. truce says:

    piereth – exactly! I like the image myself (funny subject and nicely executed illo), just NOT for the front cover of our catalogue.

    Jenny – I wondered the same thing. So I brought it up. And received echoing silence from the Powers That Be 😉

    healingmagichands – Now THAT is what I call a talent! But I’m glad its not just me who thinks using it for the cover of our catalogue is wildly inappropriate.

    archie – yes, I think its not so much that we are prudes – more that we are perhaps more sensitive to the possibility that this image might bring some unintended associations with it, when it crosses a few international boundaries!

    azahar – good point about the reds. I hate red anyway, but you’re right, they do clash.

    modestypress – oh dear. I have a cousin who wasn’t allowed to watch TV when she was growing up. I hate to tell you, but she now works full time as a producer on a major UK Reality TV show that I would rather bite my own arm off than watch. Some things are just Fated. 😉

  8. OmbudsBen says:

    Hm, as a catalog for families: not so much. But given how garish much of our culture is these days, I think it has a future as erotica.

    On my walk into work in the morning I pass the strip clubs on Market street. Way too over the top. (They’re near a couple hostels popular with Europeans, and a couple times I’ve seen groups stop to gawk with some bemusement. All around.)

    Anyway — I think your cover would do quite well there. The best erotica has an element of suggestiveness, no?

  9. David says:

    Um … totally wrong for the target audience and intended use.

    However, I can do that with a cherry stem, and it’s great advertising for other services, which is how, I fear, the cover is also quite likely to be read.

  10. Teena says:

    I’m guessing it’s trying to be vaguely Lichtenstein? Another bite of the cherry – look it up in a dictionary of idiom! A dirty mind will see a dirty suggestion 🙂 Cross-culturally if they don’t get the idiom then maybe they won’t get any other reference to cherries?! I think the knot thing is cool – like an origami party trick without wasting sheets and sheets of paper. Of course this design could go down in every design tutors notebook as an example of why dictionaries are a very dangerous design tool – unless you reference good focus groups before you go to market!! I’d say this publisher was having an exemplary focus group experience right here!

  11. truce says:

    Ombudsben – oh yes, the best erotica is suggestive, but leaves something to the imagination, definitely. 😉

    David – agreed. Except that I can’t do that with a cherry stem. Or maybe I could if I’d ever tried, but somehow it has never come up… Perhaps I should rephrase that?…

    Teena – you’re absolutely right, it IS trying to be Lichtenstein style-wise, and dead right again that the ‘Another bite of the cherry’ idiom is not going to be recognisable anywhere other than the US. Its not even a common saying in the UK, Canada and Australia, let alone France, Italy, Germany, Scandinavia, Japan and China who are our other big markets. We don’t do focus groups here – which is generally a good thing since nothing innovative ever happens if you ask a focus group – but it doesn’t take a focus group to tell a sensible person that this is a bad choice for a cover! 🙂

  12. robodad says:

    I see nothing at all suggestive about those parted, glistening red lips, that not-at-all-symbolic cherry going into her mouth, and the implied acrobatics of tongue that it would have taken that dear, dear woman to tie up that cherry stem.

  13. truce says:

    robodad – do I detect the merest hint of sarcasm, perchance?!

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