Bad Type Gives Bezos Bio A Black Eye, With Bad Word


To those who say that typography doesn’t matter much, we point you to the cover of the new big-time Jeff Bezos biography by Richard L. Brandt. Ostensibly titled one click, at a glance it sure does read like one d***. And the Amazon logo is far more phallic than we ever realized!

Then again, maybe this was all intentional? I haven’t read the book, but there are those who have assured me that it is indeed the story of one d***.

[Photo by Adam Barenblat/Fast Company. Hand modeling by Cliff Kuang.]

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  • Fxdiva1

    Can definitely understand viewing the photo here. When viewing the book upright it seems that the same kerning values were used for both typefaces.

  • cmildh

    ...seems to say more about your psychological issues than my humble opinion...As a Scandinavian illustrator, working in the US , I have for years been "negatively amused" by this type of a projection ...requests/demands
    to not make such and such look phallic are often heard and frequently seem to have the tenor of juvenile middle school snickering...

  • Hide

    those of you who keep reiterating that you read 'click' are right... you clearly read 'click' from the spine of the book. but i'm sure the author of this article was referring more to the front cover, as seen at an angle, the word more clearly reads as 'd*ck'.

  • Paolo_udi

    @ Dylan Kwok "Typography is important" <--- that the point is the message'

    Then what's the point of choosing this book. There are much worse examples than this one.

    Reads click. Who said Freudian projection? I agree.

  • t3d

    Sorry . . .  I'm still seeing "click" and a non-phallic logo.
    Hmmm, what do you think about towers and skyscapers?

  • Annette Walker

    The first version of that logo was an animated GIF that was really disturbing!  It started from the left side and grew to full size. I was told the design intention implied you, the customer, breaking into a big smile.  Geez, I couldn't believe the design got that far. 

    I have not read the book. I have worked with and socialized with Jeff Bezos. He is not a d***. Intense and smart. I've worked with and met CEOs of other top companies that are total d***heads. 

  • lssdrbrg

    Hadn't noticed anything; perhaps if it was smaller there would be some confusion, but at this size it's clearly a "click".  (Wait a minute, that looks a little like ... )

    Truly, I don't see a problem — but if others do, could this alleged visual confusion be intentional?  It reminds me a bit of Ontario's 2007 campaign for energy-use awareness, the catch line of which was "FLICK OFF"; you can read the sordid details here:

  • Onitbeta

    Yeah, this is pretty dumb. I read it as "one click". I thought the problem he was talking about was the large space between the words, which is slightly more than it should be. 

  • Someone

    On the binding, it reads ok. On the cover, at an angle, you loose the space between the c and the l

  • Dylan Kwok

    "Typography is important" <--- that the point is the message, not seeing dick or click. and there should be other graphic design decisions that can make the book's cover 'insanely good', instant of an obvious mediocre result.

  • am

    There dubious editorial value in this blog.
    I know Co. Design is only a blog, but a little more content and a little personal opinion would do no harm.
    Of course, the big bad capitalist is the center of the criticism here.
    If Bezos spent as much time scrutinizing other's work, actions and words, he probably wouldn't have created amazon, with all the benefits that this company brought to the world.
    It's time for me to get back to work...

  • ImINaBAR

    The sight is in the brain not in the eye... my brain sees clearly click. I know Besos is not the most beloved person on the internet, but maybe he is hated enough...

  • Daniel Gordon Christman-Jensen

    Upon first glance, I read it as "ONE CLICK ". . . It's all a matter of visualization skills and perspective. I'd think that most fonts would give an impression that the word is written as "d*ck."  All you need to remember is the elementary school rule: "A 'd' is made up of a baseball and bat; if there's space between the baseball and bat, then it's not the letter 'd.'"