This blog has shown much love for Dalkey Archive in the past, especially for the cover designs of Nicholas Motte, who did most of their recent output. However, I saw that their books from late 2013 onwards were getting a new look. here are some examples shown in various online catalogues:
I actually really like these: simple, bold, classic and, while not as colourful and pop as the Motte designs, quite appealing. I ordered a number of them. However, the books themselves turned up looking like this.
Presumably the original images were just placeholders. This is fine in itself--sometimes you need a picture for the catalogue or Amazon, and you put something there, knowing it will be changed later. But almost all of the final, actual covers are much uglier than these placeholders. The cover for Adibas is OK, and at least makes play with the Adidas logo that gives the book its title (Adibas being knock-off or counterfeit consumer goods). But Leningrad is a murky mess, and The Maya Pill is a truly ugly cover: the sort of thing that might have produced by a vanity press outfit in 1993.
Adibas, by the way, is also one of the worst books I've read in quite some time. It consists of extremely disaffected/affectless fictional vignettes of life in Georgia
during the Russian invasion a few years ago; everyone keeps
shopping or clubbing or fucking while Putin's tanks roll down the streets. The impression you get is that Burchuladze has read Brett Easton Ellis and nobody else ever. It's also one of
the most misogynistic boioks I've read in a long time: women are
defined almost entirely by the tightness of their vaginas, with their
willingness to provide oral sex a vague secondary characteristic. I know you shouldn't confuse the writer with the narrator, and the shallowness is part of the book's point, but you honestly don't get anything from reading the whole book that you wouldn't have got from its blurb.
I don't know what's going on with Dalkey at the moment, but I hope it stops.