Book cover refuses to open
for judgmental readers

| 3 comments

Ever judged a book by its cover? Amsterdam creative studio Moore has reversed the well-known idiom – designing a sleeve that scans your face and won't open unless approached without prejudice (+ movie).

A Cover That Judges You by Moore Group Amsterdam

The Cover That Judges You has an integrated camera and facial-recognition technology that scans the face of whoever approaches.



If the awaiting reader shows too much emotion – either overexcitement or under-enthusiasm – the book will remain locked.

A Cover That Judges You by Moore Group Amsterdam

Only when pulling a neutral expression will the scanner allow an Arduino micro-controller to unbolt the lock and let the user browse inside.

A Cover That Judges You by Moore Group Amsterdam

"Our aim was to create a book cover that is human and approachable-hi-tech," Thijs Biersteker of Moore told Dezeen. "If you approach the book, the face-recognition system picks up your face and starts scanning it for signs of 'judgement'."

A Cover That Judges You by Moore Group Amsterdam

Moore designed The Cover That Judges You as a prototype for the Art Directors Club Netherlands' 2015 annual, which is filled with an edited selection of creative work.

A Cover That Judges You by Moore Group Amsterdam

The camera is positioned at the top of the cover, above a screen that feeds back the image when it detects a face in close proximity.

A Cover That Judges You by Moore Group Amsterdam

Abstracted facial features that form the shape of the screen allow the prospective user to line up their eyes, nose and mouth in the optimum position.

A Cover That Judges You by Moore Group Amsterdam

Once the correct alignment is obtained, the screen turns green and a signal is sent to the Arduino board that opens the chunky metal lock.

A Cover That Judges You by Moore Group Amsterdam
Wiring the Arduino board, which controls the book's lock

"We often worry about scepticism and judgement getting in the way of amazement," said Biersteker. "Judgement should never hinder relentless enthusiasm of seeing things for the first time."


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The project was undertaken in collaboration with digital production studio This Page Cannot Be Found, branding manager Marlies Olbertijn and developer Adrien Jeanjean.

A Cover That Judges You by Moore Group Amsterdam
Connecting the electronic components to the book

Other unusual book designs include a food company publication that has to be baked before reading, a sanitation manual that filters contaminated water and an annual report that turns green in the reader's hands.

  • Ana

    So funny and creative! I love it :)

  • Fernando Fert

    That’s a judgmental book…

  • Delbert Grady

    Why am i thinking right now of that movie Saw?