Picture books have evolved over time to serve different agendas, from educational, such as teaching the alphabet, to more “edgy” topics in recent years, such as tackling what it’s like to be a child of divorce. With every change, however, one thing remains consistent: the design of a children’s book must keep a child interested and entice them to turn the page.
A book from Wave Books can be recognized from across the room. Their distinctive cover design relies on stark, black-and-white contrast and strong typographical elements. This look has set them apart as a small press that has a clear brand recognizable simply from their covers.
Graphic design is so much fun. There is so much you can do in this space, just within the context of book publishing alone. From print to digital, there’s no end to what you can create. Because it is such a vast and interesting area, a lot of people want to try it out, but they hesitate because they don’t have any formal art training. I get it—I’ve been there. There is a lot of overlap between art and graphic design, as they require a lot of the same skills and an understanding of concepts like space, color, lighting, etc. But, while having a working knowledge of these when you start is helpful, it’s not required.
At a time when YA is on the rise, we must ask this question: How do YA authors cater to their older audience?
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.