Essayist Marie Myung-Ok Lee’s obsession with author photos leads to authorial reflections on gender, representation, and what writers owe the public in “Occupy Author Photo: On Elena Ferrante, Privacy, and Women Writers” at The Millions. Starting with her own experiences and branching out to Mary Oliver, Sarah Howe, and eventually Elena Ferrante, she calls for a rethinking of the author photo and its social implications....more
Posts Tagged: book covers
For Lit Hub, book designer Jennifer Heuer reflects on sexism in publishing and analyzes “chick-lit” book covers that rely on gender stereotypes to target female readers:
The bigger discussion is the genre itself: light-weight novels aimed at a female audience is a symptom of sexism in publishing.
Publishers know that most book buyers can’t adhere to the age old adage to never judge a book by its cover. The result has been an uptick in yellow book covers as book sales move online. Yellow is an eye-catching color, especially on screens, explaining memorable covers like Marlon James’s A Brief History of Seven Killings....more
For The Millions, Claire Cameron compares book covers from the United States and United Kingdom in an attempt to develop an “overarching theory” and explain how cultures “divide.”...more
Considering the other forces vying to demarcate our time, dividing it up between mass shootings and other traumas, to encounter a packed bookshelf, a library, or a bookstore with a breathtaking procession of spines and all the potential therein—it is a relief to know that time can also look like that, that it could contain so many ways out, over, and through with those stories.
In a fascinating article for the Design Observer Group, Steven Heller shares some beautiful book jackets from the Weimar Republic: a veritable outpouring of artistry backed by young liberals pushing the boundaries of acceptability to look for art wholly original....more
Covers not only stage an interaction between word and image, printed matter and visual representation, they also broker various connections among reader, designer, editor, publisher, and bookseller.
The list of books for which Bacon designed covers reads like a who’s who of literary and popular fiction: Ragtime by E. L....more
Wired is launching a book review section—of absurd self-published titles. Jason Kehe will in fact be judging books by their cover, selecting the books he reviews for the regular column by browsing the blog Kindle Cover Disasters. The first title in the series is Moira, The Zorzen War, The Divided Worlds Book 3:
If you’re confused, Moira probably is too.
They featured characters having hallucinations and apparitions; super-strength robots throwing cars on a destructive rampage; jealous gorillas who are furious they didn’t end up with the girl; a thieving woman stealing a piglet under the cover of nighttime; and circus murder mysteries.
The Guardian reports on a playful man bites dog story from Dutch design firm Moore: a book that judges potential readers by their covers. The prototype uses facial recognition to identify expressions, and will only unlock the book if it finds a neutral attitude, keeping at bay both the skeptical and the overenthusiastic....more
Kidd designs books by James Ellroy, Cormac McCarthy, Oliver Sacks, and many other top-tier contemporary authors.
Holding it in your hand now, we hope it feels familiar and warm, at once reminding you of the great history of The Review, while also giving you a sense that you’re being handed the very future of writing and art.
For those of us who haven’t glanced at e.e. cummings since high school, it’s easy to forget that literature is a visual medium. When we think about reading, our minds often go straight to content. But rockstar cover designer Peter Mendelsund’s masterful work of phenomenology, What We See When We Read (Random House), minces popular conceptions of reading into scattered piles of type....more
Some of the best self-published books end up with amateur covers. While professional publishers consider every detail of book’s cover, like whether a font should be sans-serif or not base on genre, independent authors lack the experience to do the same....more
In the New Yorker, Peter Mendelsund talks about designing book covers for iconic works of literature.
The thing that surprised me was how dogmatic people were. They felt that when they read a book they loved, they saw every aspect of it.
A heart, the source of empathy, or at least what we use as a visual for love, was an initial starting point. As a nod to the medical part of the essay, a graphic illustration of a heart is used.
Kimberly Glyder was responsible for designing the cover of Leslie Jamison‘s essay collection, The Empathy Exams....more
London-based artist Jamie Kennan has designed covers for books by Franz Kafka, T.S. Eliot, and Vladimir Nabokov. In an interview with It’s Nice That, Kennan talks about why he loves designing book covers:
Designing a book cover is great because you can treat it as a piece of packaging, a mini poster, corporate identity, something to use illustration on, or photography, be purely typographical, figurative or conceptual with just the right amount of type to play around with, have complete ownership; and even if you mess up totally, nobody dies.
SF Gate has a neato slideshow comparing American book covers to their foreign editions.
Sometimes they change barely at all (Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones), while sometimes they’re unrecognizable—Maggie Shipstead’s Seating Arrangements gets not only a visual redesign but a whole new title in tongue-twisting German compounds....more