A day-by-day history of U2, now in its second edition.

Final Cover for U2-A Diary

By on June 17, 2008 in The Book with 47 Comments

Ahhh, the power of the people. Thanks in large part to your feedback about the original cover, we’ll have a slightly different cover for U2, A Diary. You said all four band members should be on the cover; I agreed and showed your comments to Chris, my editor; Chris agreed and took it from there.

Now we have all four band members on the front, in all their live concert awesomeness. Here’s what it’ll look like:

Final cover for U2, A Diary

THANK YOU all for your feedback. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who felt all four should be on there, and you made it easier for me to make the case with Omnibus. And thanks to Chris and Omnibus for agreeing and going along with the idea.

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  1. I’m on an endcap! | U2Diary.com | February 15, 2009
  2. Interview with U2 - a Diary writer Matt McGee « Staring at the Sun | March 22, 2009
  1. Roman G says:

    Much better! I like it.

  2. merli says:

    i like it.

  3. Morgan says:

    Really dreadful! Do not go with this!

    No.1 Its dated!
    No.2. U2’s mark is their ‘spread’ on stage!

    Shit! E-mail me at morganpearl@eircom.net

    Following these boys nearly a good 25 yrs plus now! I have good fotos if needed, but these are well dated!!!



  4. Roman G says:

    No matter what photo they use, it will still be dated.

  5. Froggie says:

    Hi Matt

    Glad to see all four band members on the front cover. Whilst you will never please everyone, I think I would re-consider the picture of Bono as it is not his most flattering picture! Apart from that, it looks great. Can’t wait to buy the book! Keep up the great work!!!

  6. Scott says:

    Behold, the power of the people. While it’s not the greatest set of pics around, it does the trick MUCH better than the first one. And this one actually gives Adam his due – look at him up there, almost all front and center and all… When’s the last time you saw Adam blocking The Edge rather than the other way around? 🙂 Congrats on having your first book cover, Matt!


  7. jules says:

    Ummm looks a bit cluttered to me and Bono’s photo is very ugly. But I like the U2 A Diary writing at the top. Cheers.

  8. Paul says:

    Really Bad! Sorry!

  9. inkwithgold says:

    This is a time to be positive. BUT …. the first one looked like a real photo. This one looks like cut and paste. I guess it’s too late to bring Edge over to the left where he belongs. That might look more real, although I appreciate his fret board would knock Bono’s shades off. Or, even better, have three dividing lines between them. That way the cut and paste would be understood to be deliberate, rather than badly hidden. Isn’t it just so helpful when people suggest alterations to a final version? Quite honestly it’s fine, Matt. I’ll still buy it.

  10. dianne says:

    glad it has all four on the front now, and i quite like it – simple and classy i think.
    only suggestion i would make is that, like the previous cover, the whole band should get lifted off the bottom of the page and faded out to black (like edge is except a bit higher maybe). if anything it would make your name easier to see!
    then again, it might be a bit late for suggestions if this is the final cover… and if it is the final cover, then congratulations because it’s great and you should be proud of all the hard work you’ve put into this!

  11. Ashaiw says:

    It looks a bit amateurish if sort of a speak. The Bono image is horrible. Still… I will buy and read your book. Congratulation.

  12. rarry says:

    we’re all thrilled to see that it’s all 4 band members – thanks and well done, matt …. but would you mind if i also requested a rethink? in terms of appeal. you and omnibus want as many people as possible to pick up / buy the book. hence the cover must have appeal, sex appeal, whatever you want to call it. i know pictures are expensive, but would they consider a better choice? the cut and paste makes this one seem all out of whack. the perspective seems off kilter.

    sorry you ever showed us i bet…. 😉

  13. Helen says:

    Sorry but it looks really amateur. Bono looks awful and Adam looks constipated!

  14. Ville says:

    It’s good that all four of them are there, but in my opinion the pictures together like that doesn’t work =(… first cover was better looking, more stylish… i think you should consider the cover again… sorry!!!

  15. Joe says:

    An interesting concept would have been grabbing a solo photo of each person from a different era of the band. That said, I like this. Congrats.

  16. The title looks great…

    but Adam’s expression is a little weird and Larry looks like he’s smelling Bono’s armpits and it isn’t appealing.

    Why don’t you be brave and go with no photo at all and just the purple title graphic?

  17. Kent says:

    Sorry – but it’s not going to date well. Ie, too late already looks dated. The fonts/layout at the top is fine, but perhaps simplify the ‘shadowing’.

    Think clean.

    If you must use photos then think simple and dont try and ‘merge together’…4 individual photos of the boys – and they need eyes! all have their eyes closed! Better source photos… play with heavy cropping or layout of the framed shots… but… yeah. cutout-paste-glue together isnt working here.

    or better still, use a graphic/illustration/logo – something stlylised but still pretty clean.

    And not a glossy cover. Satin or matt finish at least…

    This is what I would suggest if I was talking to a publishing team…

  18. Jack says:

    Who did this? The work experience kid? I’m sure it’ll be a good book, but for the love of God, please get someone to sort a proper cover. Why try and be contemporary? If it’s a diary, then why not use a montage. And sack the artworker. You might as well write, “generic, unauthorised biog, please do not buy” on the front for all the good it’s doing you.

  19. Neil says:

    I think i liked it better before. I understand, and somewhat agreed with the idea that all four members needed to be on the front, but i think it was supposed to work like a ‘double’ cover, where the back would have featured Adam and larry in the same style.. this is still fine thou, but the contrast has been reduced. Compare the two, and you can see that the previous one was darker, and blended better with the background. Bono also seems, by looking at his head, a little larger than the others which runins the balance. Larry’s facial expression is not the best, and could have been a much better shot.. looking like he is really into the playing. By having them all at the foot of the image also does not look as good as them being about a quarter up, and their bodies fading into the black (see previous colour). I think the designer needed a little more time to get it just right, and make it work better overall. (Im a designer myself).

    All the best anyway Matt, look forward to it.. will be so much pleasure when you have the final physical thing in your hand.. your own piece of history.

  20. U2forBoys says:

    Not too fond about it.

    Cut and paste pictures of the band members, strange title imo (A Diary? Why not just U2 Diary) in a cheapish font. Looks like a quick paint job to me, sorry.

    (By the way, the sample pages looked much and much better! In a bookstore this cover would make me not buy the book, but having seen some of the content made much more interested about it!)

  21. Donal Murphy says:

    Great to see all four on the cover.Thats definitely the way forward.

    As it looks like the cover is 3 or 4 pictures edited together, it looks a little bit cluttered and a bit unnatural. The original image which had only 2 band members, looked less cluttered and more natural.

    However, I know it’s difficult to get a striking image of all four together live, as they tend to be spread out meaning they would look very small on a book cover.

  22. lady luck says:

    uhm… I dunno… it’s not bad but still is not the best.. I do not like the images of both Bono and Larry. I like the composition but the pictures are not outstanding. A question: why is the writing purple? wouldn’t it be better in red??

  23. Imran says:

    Better than before, but I have to admit that it’s not my favorite 4 pics of the boys. The “dated” comment I think is fair, but so is the reply that it will be no matter what. I do think that the images look to cluttered for sure and it kind of looks like someone did this with Photoshop at home, rather than by publishing company. Not going to stop me from reading it, but I think it could be better. Have you spoken with Otto Kissinger about maybe using some of his pics for the cover (u2photos.com)? He’s bound to have something that would work for it.

    Good luck!

  24. Robyn says:

    Much, much beter. It shows what the book is all about A Diary Of U2-The Whole band!

    I hope it’s a bestseller. Good luck.

  25. Robyn says:

    Actualy, I think that’s exactly how Bono looks at a concert. His mouth opened, singing his heart out. I wouldn’t change a thing.

    You can make some people happy some of the time, but not everyone’s going to be happy all the time. Just a little cliche’ to throw in there.

  26. Shane O´Reilly says:

    Really bad mate !

    Really tacky design…….have you been messing around with Photoshop or something ?

    Why not ask some professional graphic designers to have a go ?

    Really BAD logo…….bad photos of the band aswell.
    I´m sure you probably have copyright issues with getting permission to use photos…but DON´T GO WITH THIS !

    Why don´t you commission an illustration instead ??

  27. Julia Quantrill says:

    I absolutely hate the images especially the one of Bono, make if a real pic of them on or off stage together!!!!

  28. Mark Baker says:

    Brother…..Why would you choose the Bono picture where he looks like a guppy? Everyone else looks amazing. I’m happy to see Adam right there in the front.

    Change the Bono pic….trust me on this one.

  29. Alex says:


    I can’t wait for the book to be out in the market!congrats..
    As for the cover, its just plain wrong. Seems they used Photoshop to get the boys together…just doesnt seem right.
    Im sure its full of treats though…

  30. Paul says:


  31. Helena says:

    Hey Matt!

    I think that the cover picture can be improved a bit… certainly much better than the first one now with the whole band… but it seems like the black void in the middle of the page looks weird… with the short (u2 diary) title on top… and you can barely see your name! Overall, I believe it could be improved…

  32. Helena says:

    perhaps the picture should be bigger to fill in the big black void between the picture and the title…

  33. Ian says:

    What were you thinking?????????

  34. bev says:

    like just the title – simple and to the point.
    no photo of members – something different for a change.
    after all – the title is “diary”, what diary has a photo on the cover???!!!

  35. kevin says:

    Hi Matt really looking forward to your book. But I feel the cover needs some work.As with other comments the heading is too small and so is your name. The band photo doesn’t work for me they look to cut n pasted.maybe a classic older shot of the band live would work better. Hope you find my comments constructive and not too critical.

  36. brett says:

    There were occasions on the Vertigo Tour where the four band members were tightly staged around Larry’s kit. A single quality shot with all four would be something to go after.

  37. Kevin says:

    While I agree with the premise that it should have all 4 members, I gotta say the original cover is better. The new cover looks like it’s 2 or 3 pictures pasted together and looks a bit too busy to me.

    I know it’s not easy to fit 4 members in a single shot on the front cover of a book, so you’ve gotta compromise, but this one just looks wrong to me.

    You might get something form Elevation (accoustic part of the set)….not so sure about the last tour. Yahweh migh work for some shows, but I doubt it’d make a good picture.

    If it was me, I’d get together with Otto. I’ve got some nice pics, but few, if any, include all 4 members. Otto, OTOH, gets around more than I do, and is significantly taller.

    That’s my 2 cents

  38. Alison says:

    From a graphic design viewpoint I think the font used and effects to me feels quite dated. Also your name is quite hard to distinguish. I also find the balance of all four subjects ‘out of kilter’ so to speak. Bono’s figure is front on where the other members appear slightly more side on in appearance. I feel that makes Bono look quite large and out of place and it doesn’t do the cover any justice. I’m not wishing to be rude, just trying to describe it the way I see it being a designer.

  39. Pekka says:

    Sorry, have to say it looks real amateurish.

    The cut-and-paste photos really don’t work at all, and the title would look a lot better without the cheap lightning effect.

    Would hate to see a great book ruined by a cover this bad.

  40. Robyn says:

    Maybe your name should be under the title of the book, bigger, and better, but as far as the picture goes imo I think that it’s great. I think that it shows every band member as they really were, and are. Like I said before, you’re never going to please everyone, but who cares, as long as you’re pleased. You put your heart and soul into this book for a really long time, and I can’t wait to turn to pg 1 and start reading!

  41. SB says:

    Are you going to address the above comments? (I agree with them)

  42. Sean says:

    LOL! Adam does look constipated hope its a bestseller. Good luck dad!

  43. Matt says:

    Ha! Well, now that my son has offered an opinion, I can finally chime in. 🙂

    Thanks for all the comments, gang. I respect your opinions, and agree with some of you. Thank you to all who figured out how to leave constructive feedback without being rude or impolite.

    That said, this is the final cover image — that’s the title of the blog post. There will be no further changes. If you’re not a fan of the cover, and plan on purchasing the book regardless, I would recommend purchasing a sticky book cover and covering your copy when it arrives. 🙂

  44. kat says:

    love the cover…lol…you have done all the hard work well done;)

  45. Declan says:

    Never judge a book by it’s cover.Congratulations Matt on finally getting to the pre-order stage.I’m definitely gonna treasure this book when I get it.You’re a stalwart U2 fan and for involving fans in the evolution of your book has made it one that we as fans will appreciate all the more.You are our ambassador now and I wish you every success.

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