Some books have beautiful hardcovers and really ugly dust jackets. For example, BDAG’s dust jacket is pink – dj’s should never be pink! Or consider the older NIC volumes – both Old and New Testament volumes. The covers themselves were a very nice grey for the OT and a nice dark blue for the New, but they’re dust jackets were the really ugly puke yellow for the New Testament and bright magenta for the Old. Yuck!
Other books have beautiful dust jackets and atrocious covers. A good example of this is the Pillar New Testmanet Commentary series. The dust jackets are a nice blue and white, but the covers themselves are a kind of glossy blue that just kind of blinds you – way too much saturation. Then there’s also certain printings of F. F. Bruce’s Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free from the 80’s. The dust jacket is gorgeous with its combination of blocks of colors, but the book itself is a horrendous puke yellow like that of the old NICNT dustjackets. Or how about the older printings of Vanhoozer’s Is There a Meaning in this Text? The jacket is an acceptable tanish brown, but the cover itself is orange – newer copies have the same tan.
I don’t understand why its so hard to have both! Some books like D. A. Carson’s The Gagging of God have bad jackets (a dull pink base color) and even worse covers (a mostly pink hardcover).
In general, I’ve been very impressed with Baker, IVP and the past decade of Eerdmans publishing. Continuum does a good job too with the TT Clark volumes though it needs work on the Journal for New Testament Studies Supplement Series (now Library of New Testament Studies). The covers on these are great, but often the color schemes of the jackets are really strange (Logos has some good pictures of what I mean).
Anyone else have good examples?