One would think these principles of cover design to be universal, and yet I’m staring at a couple Japanese novels on my desk, and can’t help but wonder if the standards of design are a little bit different (read: awesome) there. Japanese bestsellers, especially foreign titles, are often printed as bunko, which are similar in form and function to mass market paperbacks in the West. They do tend to be a bit shorter and slimmer than Western paperbacks however, and are usually only about two hundred pages long. Because of this length restriction, many Western bestsellers are often split up into multiple volumes. These criteria mean that cover designers have less space to work on per book, but potentially more books available. You might also notice an almost universal trend of more numerous and larger typographic elements on Japanese covers. As my team has been working on a YA cover, I’m specifically interested in that market. As a teaching example of YA cover design differences between Japan and America, one need look no further than America’s favorite dystopian series about ritual teen murder and bird-themed rebellion: The Hunger Games.
I recently wandered the YA shelves of Powell’s to take note of the latest cover trends––partly as research for the cover design of The Ocean in My Ears, and partly because that’s the kind of thing I like to do with my Friday nights. In order to focus only on the latest trends and limit […]
Fall term has arrived and has brought with it students new to Ooligan Press, students new to the book publishing program, and students new to The Ocean in My Ears team. Joining our team this term we have the talented Brianne Robinson, who is not new to Ooligan but is new to our team, along […]
Shortly after The Divergent Series: Allegiant hit theaters, searches for “YA dystopia” in Google News yielded a veritable barrage of articles declaring that the genre was finally on its way out—at least in cinema. From the Guardian to the LA Times to the Washington Post, speculation was rampant. But if we’re truly nearing a hard […]
While I was reading Blue Thread, I couldn’t help but think of the fact that there are so many films, television series, and books all about time travel and the consequences or effects of time travel. Why is that? There’s the appeal that we can go back to glamorous times and explore history, but is […]
Young adult publishers certainly do like to put disembodied body parts on their covers, don’t they? They also like that hazy Instagram look and showing the protagonist with his or her back to the reader. And they really like a hand-drawn font. It’s getting to the point where it’s almost as hard to find a […]