‘A Cocoon Over There!’ is a lovely cartoon about going back to school by Argentinian cartoonist Liniers for the New York Times Book Review:
Liniers has a new kids book out this fall from Toon Books called Goodnight, Planet.
August 28, 2017
August 4, 2017
Oh hey, August.
Robin Billardello‘s cover design for the hardcover of Another Brooklyn, released last year, is also great.
This is just the latest in a series of great covers for Maggie O’Farrell’s books designed by Yeti.
Lovers & Strangers by Clair Wills; design by Tom Etherington (Allen Lane / August 2017)
August 3, 2017
We are increasingly being urged to create objects of desire and the cover obviously plays a key role here, especially when a book is aiming for pride of place in a bookshop. Designers visit them regularly, to note the common visual language of related or competing titles. It can be a source of frustration then, when presenting a contrasting or conflicting design aimed at standing out, only to be asked to produce a copycat cover intended to hitch on the success of the latest best-seller. Booksellers often create themed displays dedicated to the latest hot trend, see Hygge for example. Publishers are all-too aware of this and often the pursuit of a like-for-like cover is their priority… Being allowed to use ‘just type’ will always be dependent on what books are blazing a commercial trail… Jon Gray’s cover for Swing Time and John Gall’s for Norwegian Wood, to take two current examples, prove to publishers that the mass market can handle bold, type-driven design and so this approach will be validated for a time.
You read my 2009(!) Q & A with David here.
July 21, 2017
Tom Gauld for New Scientist.
July 20, 2017
AIGA and Design Observer announced the results of the 2016 50 Books | 50 Covers competition while I was on vacation. You can find all the book selections here, and the cover selections here.
I always look forward 50 Books | 50 Covers announcement. It feels like the industry standard. It’s the cover design list that really seems to matter to book designers in North America, and it’s the one I always compare my own list to.
There are always great covers among the winners that are new to me, and this year is no exception. But here are a few random observations about this year’s the cover selections: there a lot of typographic/type-only covers; academic publishers are well represented; there are some surprising omissions (although the jury can only judge what is submitted); a couple of the selections are… well, a little problematic; it is a very male list.
I’m interested to hear what other people thought of this year’s winners.
July 18, 2017
Something… something… vacation… something… jetlag…. something… inbox… something… Oh look! It’s July’s book covers!1
The Graybar Hotel by Curtis Dawkins; design by Pete Adlington (Canongate / July 2017)
(This would be a nice addition to this old list of maps on book covers)
And as this is two stories in one, you get a fancy back cover too….
Shark Drunk by Morten Strøksnes; design by Oliver Munday (Knopf / June 2017)
(Much as I love Oliver’s cover — particularly his choice of type — it immediately reminded me Tom Lenartowicz’s minimalist Jaws design)
Things To Do When You’re a Goth in the Country by Chavisa Woods; design by Adam Lewis Greene (Seven Stories Press / May 2017)
June 29, 2017
June 28, 2017
I talked to the Australian Book Design Association about book cover design and judging this year’s ABDA Awards:
I think we’re seeing a more global approach to covers as a result of publishers deciding to hold on to the international rights for their books, and designers and publishers (not to mention authors and readers!) being more exposed to covers from other markets through the internet and international travel. But it is still surprising how different covers from different countries can be. The contrast between British and American covers can still be quite striking.
In Canada, where I live, we are geographically very close to the US, and we get books from both the US and the UK, so domestic covers tend to be a bit of a hybrid, with a handful of designers and publishers trying to do something unique. I get the sense that the situation in Australia is similar, although there may be more willingness to experiment with covers than in Canadian publishing, which can be quite conservative when it comes to book design.
June 27, 2017
June 16, 2017
Hey June, don’t make it bad, take a sad book and make its cover…
Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong; design by Matt Johnson (Scribner UK / June 2017)
A welcome addition to the books on book covers genre.
Neil’s embossed metallic silver cover for Selfie by Will Storr (Picador / June 2017) is also kind of great (and hilarious), but impossible to show well online:
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge; design by Greg Heinimann (Bloomsbury / June 2017)
X by Chuck Klosterman; design by Rachel Willey (Blue Rider Press / May 2017)
June 13, 2017
Tom Gauld takes a look at editing process for The Guardian.
Tom’s recent comic ‘Editor’s Letter’ for the New York Times Magazine‘s ‘New York Stories‘ comic strip issue is also great:
Tom illustrated a story by Andy Newman called View Finder, and provided other incidental illustrations and lettering for the magazine, but the cover was illustrated by Bill Bragg who also, you may remember, illustrated the cover of Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo, published by Faber earlier this year.
May 29, 2017
Congratulations to all the winners of the 2017 Australian Book Design Awards, which were announced on Friday in Sydney. I was honoured to be the international judge this year (even if some of my favourite covers didn’t win!).