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Do you judge a book by the cover?
BOOK COVERS – AT FIRST GLANCE
written by Sanja Gombar
When it comes to books, what a great deal of readers value the most while choosing a book to read is its content. However, that usually isn’t the first thing they notice about the new book in the bookstore or in the library. The first thing the meet when they come across some new book is its covers, and by looking at them, they get the first impression about the book itself.
Nobody actually wants to judge the book by its covers – but the truth is that covers are the first thing that would draw their attention. Later, they will also read the name of the author, the title of the book itself, perhaps the synopsis on the back cover. The first term for all that to happen is that the specific book is in their hands, that they choose it among the other books of the similar topics, genre or content. Well-designed covers can help them to make that decision. In order to catch the attention of the future readers, book covers are very important – they are the thing people notice at first glance.
The main rule of the good cover is that it serves to distinguish a certain book among others and therefore it is important that it is well-designed. Tastes are different, of course, but every good cover should be eye-catchy and interesting for the readers, awoke in them the desire to actually read that book. It should represent the book in the best light. It doesn’t mean, of course, that the book cover should tell all the storyline of the book – and it possibly cannot, but it should provide the basic info about it and be appealing to readers.
Two main traps in designing the book cover are adding too much details, or on the other hand, too little. Sometimes it’s so tempting to just take a trilling, complicated scene from a book and to represent it. In practice, that leads to a designer solution with too many characters, scenes or details. All that can make a blurry, confusing picture, which is not very attractive to the readers. Book cover should serve to draw the attention on a book, not to explain it or summarize it–which would be very hard to achieve anyway. It is understandable that synopsis shouldn’t contain too many spoilers of the plot. The same rule goes for the book cover design.
Simplicity seems like a much better choice, but keeping things too simple can also be a trap. Such book covers design can sometimes look classier, but also can fail to serve its main purpose – to highlight the book, and make people notice it. Book covers which can easily pass unnoticed are not such a good idea. In case that the author and the designer agree they want a minimalistic, elegant book cover, designer should propose to add some catchy detail, or highlights, or contrast, or use some other tools to make the book cover more interesting.
Book covers should address to the readers. In order to achieve that, it is enough to represent the ambient of the story, with one or two main characters, or some symbol which is linked to the storyline. The right choice of colors, contrast and other designer tools should do the rest to make the cover represent the book in a right way.
Thank you Sanja Gombar for agreeing to have your article posted!
Sarah Jane & Margaret
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