What’s the best way to design a book cover for a genre you aren’t familiar with? What if it goes wrong, despite your best efforts?
Whether you are a graphic-design guru, a website developer, a technical writer, or any other professional who has some sort of visual element in their day-to-day (so, everyone), you are surrounded by design. So let us dive into some resources for the non-designers.
How does one choose what book to read next? There are indeed a plethora of ways to discover your next literary treasure. Certain authors may interest you, you may be immersed in a genre, you may have been stunned by a book’s reputation, or you may pursue an interest in either something you love or something that is new to you. There is one approach, however, you supposedly should never use to choose what your next literary adventure will be, and that is judging the book by its cover. However, while this rule does apply to almost the entirety of the publishing world, there are always some exceptions.
There are a lot of arguments out there that try to establish that one typeface is inherently better than the other. Traditionalists value the more conservative, classic sense of structure and reliability that the serif font brings to a design. On the other hand, those who favor a more modern aesthetic use sans-serif fonts to convey a sense of friendliness and informality.
There is an ongoing conversation about conscious editing and how important it is to making great inclusive stories. I would be the first to tell you how crucial it is for books to be edited consciously, as it increases the accuracy and the quality of a book and helps it appeal to a wider audience—something that is very important in publishing. But that is not the only area in book production that has so much to gain from conscious practices, diversity, and different perspectives—design can also benefit from these things.
Spend a few minutes on the internet and you’ll probably see the kind of highly curated images that saturate social media, whether they’re posts by influencers or ads from retail powerhouses. Every detail in these images is planned, from the succulents in the background to the coffee mugs placed strategically on the counter and yes, even the books lining the shelves with precise color coordination. Just based on a quick scan of these picturesque galleries, it’s easy to make the assumption that these books aren’t going to be opened in the near future, if at all. This use of books for their “aesthetic” induces eye rolls in some and can even be downright offensive to literary enthusiasts.