New Work: ‘The Price of Politics’
In The Price of Politics, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward documents the inside story of how President Obama and the U.S. Congress tried to restore the American economy following the financial crisis of 2008. In books like All the President’s Men (written with Carl Bernstein) and Plan of Attack, Woodward has used his distinctive fly-on-the-wall, you-are-there journalistic style to create definitive accounts of Washington deal-making, and the centerpiece of the new book is a detailed play-by-play of how Obama failed to broker a deal with House Speaker John Boehner as the country faced default over the federal debt ceiling in 2011. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut has designed an iconic cover for the book that pictures a pair of arrows, one pointing up, one pointing down.
The strong graphic cover is a departure from Woodward’s earlier covers, almost all of which followed in the tradition of All the President’s Men: photojournalistic imagery with traditional serif typography. The arrows entering from the top and bottom of the cover are meant to suggest the opposing forces that the Obama administration has had to negotiate throughout the crisis—the partisan politics of Capitol Hill, as well as the turbulent direction of the markets. Originally one of the cover’s arrows was blue and the other was red, but the designers couldn’t decide which one to put on top and which to put on the bottom, a color choice that could read as an endorsement of one party over the other. The title typography finds the middle way—the path Obama has skillfully tried to navigate during his first administration.
Project Team: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer.