I was recently talking to a highly successful editor, and she was telling me about the recent aesthetic evolution of book cover design. The essence is this: With the increase in sales of books on the internet, it has become important to design a book cover so that it can be read. Previously, one saw the book in a book store—and there it was—with carefully (one hopes) designed graphic art. Yes the title and author’s name were there, but they were embedded in the art. Now, online, we see very small images of the cover. The need to present author’s name and book title becomes more important. As a result more attention is being paid to cover size, font, and design of the type. I suspect that this will be less a factor in books for young people—surely picture books, and middle grade novels. But there it is, the latest word. But I suspect it will influence the title itself—for that will tend to attract (or not) the reader even more. It will also favor known writers over new or lessor known.
3 thoughts on “Books by their covers”
Good point about book covers needing to work effectively in small sizes. Despite the push of online sales, I’m still surprised at how many books are created using fine detail in artwork and thin typefaces–things that don’t translate well into online thumbnails images. The result is often muddy and indistinguishable–especially for dark covers with little contrast in the artwork. Even long titles can be a problem when presented within certain online constraints.
Will this be a factor in the sales of books for children? Yes, I think so, over time we’ll see an effect, especially as the quality and quantity of e‑reader devices increases. However, there are so many other factors involved with book sales that it will be hard to draw definite, measurable conclusions–there will always be a subjective element to those conclusions.
Couldn’t agree more!
Colors are important too. If something has a good texture design behind the ‘white’ or so text, it would probably grab someone’s attention. Sometimes the graphics can form designs and shapes that one could notice more often than not.