I refuse to believe we can’t move past the paperback designs of the past with their jumble of chunky fonts, strange color palettes, and, dare I say, unappealing illustrations of aliens.
No matter how brilliant a piece of writing is, if it doesn’t know who the audience should be or doesn’t give enough context about its subject, the writing fails to be read, understood, and shared. It fails to communicate. The same holds true for book design.
In 2016, Scholastic conducted a survey on over two thousand US children ages six to seventeen and found that when it came to reading, boys generally do not like it as much as girls do.
Women make up the bulk of sci-fi readership in addition to romance readership. They aren’t put off by “masculine” covers. Yet women writers still find themselves marginalized on the shelf by curly script and a florid indulgence of pink. Which begs the question: to what purpose?
Even before readers notice the Ooligan hook on the spine, they can often recognize the arts and crafts style and blue and green color palettes for which Ooligan book covers have recently become known.
I can’t be the only one attached to my favorite book’s original cover—so why does it seem to change so often?