I’ve seen a couple of comments on the cover, so to avoid taking credit for something I haven’t done: The base of the above image is by Emin Aykut Erdogan and is available from iStockPhoto. I spotted it while looking for an image suitable for the i-Science Centre at Leicester and this one seemed useful as it could be biology, chemistry or physics depending on how you look at it. My contribution was thinking, “That could be used for a science blogging anthology cover” and deciding Garamond was the right typeface. The only lesson I can recall from GCSE art is either have a strong image and plain lettering or else a plain image if you have ornate lettering. If anyone wants to design next year’s cover the figures are front and back cover 1837 pixels each, plus spine width plus one pixel for luck,* height 2775 pixels. It’s also important to save the image at 300dpi resolution.
In so far as I think about design I tend to be heavily influenced by Peter Saville. I love the Joy Division Closer font, though I don’t use it much. It has very thin strokes so it scales badly. I also like New Order Republic which I over use to compensate. If you have an interest in 80s record design then Designed by Peter Saville, is an interesting read. The cover, right, is 100 pulses from the first pulsar discovered, PSR B1919+21.
If I were really good here I’d announce the re-design of the i-Science Centre’s website, but that’s still a couple of weeks off.
*The front and back covers together should make 3675 pixels, which isn’t helpful to divide by two, so I’d suggest that you add the two half pixels as extra width on the spine.