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Graphic Design, Book Covers, and You - Part I

clouds-and-sunInspiration from the Covers of Books
In the next few posts, we’ll look at some book covers and learn a few things about design. We’ll find that design sometimes has to follow form. And in these examples, they follow the form of the content.

The creative processes used to design a book cover are relatively the same for designing a logo, a letterhead, or illustration. The final product may differ, but the progression is similar.

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but in this case, we can at least make a judgment call upon the book art on the cover.

dick-francis-book-coverStatic Is Good
The books from Dick Francis are based around one theme and one theme only — horse racing. As a result, the publishers have decided to make the motif of the racing thoroughbreds an iconic emblem for all of Francis’ books.

The book design may not be too exciting, but it serves as a lesson that static design can sometimes be good. The design is immediately recognizable to all Dick Francis fans.
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waiter-rantLiteral Is Good
A few years ago, a waiter started a blog about his experiences about serving customers, dealing with the politics within the restaurant, and the difficult life waiters can have. His book included many stories, some funny and some sad, but they never failed to entertain.

He called his blog, “Waiter Rant.” He now has a book out by the same name. In this cover design, a restaurant check is the main idea for the book cover. Sure, it was probably the most obvious route to take in design, but it is done in an interesting and humorous way.
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dean-koontz-book-coverThematic Is Good
You may not be familiar with the author Dean Koontz but the cover art pretty much sums up what is inside between the book covers–something ominous and maybe a little scary.

Dean Koontz is a horror fiction writer although this title doesn’t really do him justice. His stories are definitely scary at times, but he induces an element of intense suspense and strong character development.

The cover art draws you in with its use of silhouette design and this definitely is eye catching. The graphic designer has taken the liberty to use dark and light contrasts to emphasize the feeling of what the book is about — and it works well.
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sherlock-holmes-book-coverElegant Is Good
The Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle have been a mainstay of mystery and detective fans for many years. The character of Holmes is depicted as a man with superhuman observational talent and superior reasoning skills. But the man is also frail and humanly flawed.

In this instance of book cover design, we see a minimal presentation of artwork combined with very elegant scroll designs.

The book cover gives you the feeling that you are looking at something special and extremely valuable. This sells the complete collection of stories very effectively.
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Next Time…
We’ll have a few more examples of book cover art designs and how this can help to open up creative channels for us.

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