One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time. Carl Sagan

Book Covers

As our Full-Time students move onto their next module, they will be focusing on the subject of Book Covers. We have asked them to design a book cover based on the book of their choice by the use of ‘One Main Letter’ (focusing on one letter of the title to communicate a message to the audience.) If you’re a strange person, you’re probably wondering – “Why book covers? Does anybody even read a book anymore? ” To answer your question. Yes. They do. As designers, we believe a Book Cover makes a brilliant book amazing, and a bad book into still a bad book, but it looks nice, I guess?

Want to understand our thinking? Well, friends, this is why we’re here to tell you today.

What makes a Book Cover great?

The key elements which are used to create book covers are as follows: Layout, Colour, Type, and Imagery.  Using all these four elements together will help you create a visually appealing cover related to the title of your choice. They will be looking at the following books: The Silmarillion by J.R.R Tolkien, The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.  For this blog post, we will be focusing on Tolkien’s ‘The Silmarillion’

The majority of the people on this planet know who J.R.R Tolkien is and the incredible stories he has written which has grown into a huge franchise in our current day and age. Due to this, there have been various iterations of all of Tolkien’s books in terms of design.  Ranging from incredible pieces of oil-painted artwork from the covers such as ‘The Hobbit’ to very simplified and elegant designs such as ‘The Silmarillion’. Think about the 4 elements of design – what has the designer for this cover done?

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The use of colours on the book range from black and grey, to bright and vibrant tones such as blue, green, and yellow.  Why has the designer done this?  Was it to draw your attention to the grey-toned typeface and the floral stain-glass design placed neatly in the center of the cover? Yes. A simple design makes a good design, especially with the topic of the book; fantasy tales that use the imagination.  Which brings us back to the design in the center of the book, it helps you picture what some of the architecture Tolkien’s world would have had, how bright and colourful the landscapes are, what the people could have looked like.

Now it’s time to analyze the layout – There’s not much to say is there? Besides that, the designer has made use of the space around the type and image. Allowing the design to breathe, be mysterious, and eyecatching. It’s not hard to look at, in fact, it’s very pleasing. The designer has even made use of the top and bottom bleeds, but adding in a boarder created using a fictional typeface, which yet again adds to the fantasy appeal and mystery behind the book.  Now, I’m not fully stating the book design as a whole is perfect or amazing, but certain elements (type, colour & layout) in which the designer has used makes it a good design.

Now that you’ve learned about how to analyze and deconstruct the elements of a book cover, what do you think of the following cover? Is there any book covers you admire/dislike and wish to share them with us? Follow the links and contact us on Instagram & Twitter!

www.strohackerdesignschool.co.uk

Book Covers chosen by our Full-Timers to redesign in their style & image

The Faraway Nearby is a 2013 book by Rebecca Solnit. Containing writing reminiscent of memoir, literary criticism, travelogue, prose poetry, as well as analyses of myth, fairytale and narratives more generally, the book defies easy categorization. – Wikipedia

‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ is a psychological thriller novel by Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson, which was published posthumously in 2005 to become an international bestseller. It is the first book of the Millennium series. – Wikipedia

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