Book Cover Ignite

A book cover can serve many different functions. Depending on who you ask, a book cover could be a beautiful piece of art; to others, it’s simply a medium to sell the story inside. 

Today, this presentation will focus on looking at a book cover’s ability to tell a story based on design principles, genre, and current trends. It will also show how marketing and pr teams use it to sell books. 

Presentation: https://qu.techsmithrelay.com/m4YI

Resources

Bergström, B. (2012). Storytelling. In Essentials of visual communication (pp. 14-27). London: Laurence King.

Bushe, L. (n.d.). Simplicity, symmetry and more: Gestalt theory and the design principles it gave birth to. Retrieved from https://www.canva.com/learn/gestalt-theory/

Christina Schmidt-Stölting, Eva Blömeke & Michel Clement (2011) Success Drivers of Fiction Books: An Empirical Analysis of Hardcover and Paperback Editions in Germany, Journal of Media Economics, 24:1, 24-47, DOI: 10.1080/08997764.2011.549428

Ebert, S. (2014). Consumer Psychology Insights and their Use for Operational Book Marketing. Expert Journal of Business and Management. doi:ISSN 2359-7712.

Gudinavičius, A. and Šuminas, A. (2018), “Choosing a book by its cover: analysis of a reader’s choice”, Journal of Documentation, Vol. 74 No. 2, pp. 430-446. https://doi-org.libraryproxy.quinnipiac.edu/10.1108/JD-09-2016-0111

Kidd, C. (n.d.). Designing books is no laughing matter. OK, it is. Retrieved September 25, 2020, from https://www.ted.com/talks/chip_kidd_designing_books_is_no_laughing_matter_ok_it_is?language=en

Morr, K. (2018, March 20). How to design book covers for different genres. Retrieved September 25, 2020, from https://99designs.com/blog/book-design/book-cover-design-by-genre/

Reid, M. (2020, January 27). 7 Big Book Cover Design Trends for 2020. Retrieved September 25, 2020, from https://99designs.com/blog/trends/book-cover-design-trends/

Salmani, Bahloul, and Zahra Eghtesadi. “An intersemiotic approach towards translation of cover designs in retranslated classic novels.” Theory and Practice in Language Studies, vol. 5, no. 6, 2015, p. 1185+. Gale Literature Resource Center, https://link-gale-com.libraryproxy.quinnipiac.edu/apps/doc/A447038637/LitRC?u=a13qu&sid=LitRC&xid=35080cd7. Accessed 24 Sept. 2020.

Zen, P. (2020, February 03). Storytelling Secrets For Creating Images That Connect. Retrieved September 25, 2020, from https://www.yotpo.com/blog/5-visual-storytelling-secrets-to-improve-your-marketing-images/

5 thoughts on “Book Cover Ignite

  1. Hi Jennifer! As someone who could spend hours in a library or bookstore, I absolutely love this topic. I think book cover designers aren’t credited enough with how they truly impact the reader’s decision to pick up a book and ultimately purchase, to find out what lies inside. It’s also like the designer is the cheerleader for the book/author!

    I especially found it interesting how books are marketed based on a targeted age group or gender along with the genre of the book. Within these design trends, what emotions are evoked and how does this connect with the targeted audience? This is a perfect opportunity to compare/contrast in your essay. Also, you mentioned this with Dune, but some books get released multiple times with updated covers for paperback, hardcover, audiobooks, new editions, etc. The Harry Potter books have numerous editions and I know book covers can vary from country to country based on language and culture. The impact of culture on design is something you could also explore.

    There are a few iconic book covers and when we think of a story, the image of the cover immediately comes to mind. I can think of the Twilight series and the Hunger Games. I wonder what makes these designs so iconic? Is it the success of the book being made into a movie? Or does the success of the cover drive the story or vice versa? How much does a cover really matter if a book is already popular? Will people look past the cover? Sometimes, I might pick up a book because the cover captured my attention but the story itself let me down. I find that it’s frustrating when a cover misleads me but I really admire covers when designers are innovative and find a way to do the story justice while also thinking outside the box.

    You made some fantastic connections to Gestalt design principles. Keep up the great work.

    Like

  2. Hi Jennifer! As someone who could spend hours in a library or bookstore, I absolutely love this topic. I think book cover designers aren’t credited enough with how they truly impact the reader’s decision to pick up a book and ultimately purchase, to find out what lies inside. It’s also like the designer is the cheerleader for the book/author!

    I especially found it interesting how books are marketed based on a targeted age group or gender along with the genre of the book. Within these design trends, what emotions are evoked and how does this connect with the targeted audience? This is a perfect opportunity to compare/contrast in your essay. Also, you mentioned this with Dune, but some books get released multiple times with updated covers for paperback, hardcover, audiobooks, new editions, etc. The Harry Potter books have numerous editions and I know book covers can vary from country to country based on language and culture. The impact of culture on design is something you could also explore.

    There are a few iconic book covers and when we think of a story, the image of the cover immediately comes to mind. I can think of the Twilight series and the Hunger Games. I wonder what makes these designs so iconic? Is it the success of the book being made into a movie? Or does the success of the cover drive the story or vice versa? How much does a cover really matter if a book is already popular? Will people look past the cover? Sometimes, I might pick up a book because the cover captured my attention but the story itself let me down. I find that it’s frustrating when a cover misleads me but I really admire covers when designers are innovative and find a way to do the story justice while also thinking outside the box.

    You made some fantastic connections to Gestalt design principles. Keep up the great work.

    Like

  3. Hi Jennifer! Great presentation on book covers! As a book lover myself, I found the presentation to be very interesting since there was a time in my life where I bought books based on how the cover looked. It very easy to understand and follow along and the images helped a lot with what you were saying. Some suggestions are that as you talk about the trends try to relate it to now, like what trends are popular now and why, and even how they may change down the road. Also, since you mentioned the different storytelling techniques that the designer can use on the cover try expanding on it by introducing examples since I wasn’t sure what each of those covers would look like, which one grabs more attention, and which one is used more often now. As I went through the presentation and saw the different covers, there were many that sparked some kind of emotion. I was thinking that maybe you can discuss more about how they evoke emotion in the covers, especially when some of the covers are very simple like the one with a bunch of keys. Covers like that one really need other aspects to help draw that emotion out of someone, so talking about color, the Gestalt principles, how the text is designed, and how a cover so simple can create emotions from the readers. The text on the cover sometimes makes me lose interest in the book or if done right it can really add to the story of the cover and the overall book, so try discussing how the text is chosen and designed and relating it back to the trends if you can. Lastly, try to include kids’ books as well because kids can be very honest, and looking at how they choose books may be interesting to look at and include. Overall, it was a very intriguing presentation!

    Like

  4. Jennifer,

    Your presentation is very straightforward and informative. It provided great insight on book cover design and purpose with publishing houses for someone who only judges books by them. My inner nerd really enjoyed how you used Frank Herbert’s Dune in one slide. My hardcover copy is resting on the living room coffee table and is begging for me to read it after this course ends! It’s a newer copy of a story over 50 years old, but it made ask how book cover design has evolved. I think it would be interesting to shed some light on some earlier book cover trends and compare/contrast versus today’s styles.

    While your presentation gave a lot of attention to hardcover and paperback books, I’m curious how much consideration is put into designing “covers” for audiobooks and ebooks? These segments likely don’t amass the same visibility and sales volume as their physical counterparts but has to play a part for someone who prefers purchasing books in this format. Also, many ebooks I’ve purchased in recent years simply reuse the physical book cover as its front image. I think this would be a good area to examine a bit further in your paper.

    Overall, you’re trending in a really good direction. I look forward to your final paper!

    -A.J.

    Like

  5. Hi Jennifer!

    Sorry for the late comment… I really enjoyed your Ignite presentation. Looking at your presentation alone, I think you spoke at a good pace that was easy to follow along with. And, you constantly broke things down in groups of three, which made it easier to understand the information you were explaining.

    It’s very interesting to think about how book covers are the first impression given of what a book is about. That being said, it’s important to have an interesting visual to draw a viewers attention. At the end of the day, everything is a business, including books. Marketing teams want a book to sell, and therefore will create a cover that is interesting. I liked how you broke down book cover design into three parts: (1) the title/text design which includes the title of the book, the author’s name, and maybe a quote, (2) the body of the book, and (3) the cover design which should reflect a part of the book that has already been written. I also found it interesting that there are different methods of storytelling techniques.

    I never thought about what to keep in mind when creating a book cover. Like you said, it needs to grab a reader’s attention, reflect on the expectations of the genre, and reflect the culture that the book is being published in. Your paper could focus around the history of book design. How did book covers evolve? Overall, great work! And, good luck on your final paper.

    Best,
    Maggie

    Like

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