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
Posts Tagged: book covers
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. The Airship explains the process:
All of this, every aspect, from font selection to colors to composition, is put together by a team consisting of representatives from the publisher, editors, the art department, the designer(s), sales and the authors themselves, whose contracts usually stipulate cover design consultation or approval.
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
As Elissa Bassist’s recent Funny Women column “The Next Great American Woman’s Novel” reminded us, books by women tend to get treated a little…differently from books by men.
What would it look like if male authors’ novels were treated like Bassist’s hypothetical feminine masterpiece All the Single Ladies Just Wanna Have Fun?...more
Propeller Mag has been collecting the various terrible covers for Karel Capek‘s super great War With the Newts.
An affront to human decency: proper nouns to be allowed in Scrabble.
Fascinating lost turn of the century female sex study....more
Shortly after I posted a story about an author’s experience of book design, I accidentally opened my copy of McSweeney’s 4, which consisted of a box of pamphlets, and I found that one pamphlet comprised an essay by Paul Maliszewski, called “Paperback Nabokov”, about Vladimir Nabokov’s experience of paperback cover design....more
The Readerville Journal’s “Most Coveted Covers” section allows viewers to judge a book by its cover. Contributors weigh the merits of designers’ wiles, while the meat of the pulp is left unscrutinized....more