Posted inEditor's Pick

The Art and Business of Book Covers

Cheri Lucas Rowlands | Longreads | June 10, 2015 | words

Here are pieces I’ve enjoyed, new and old, about the art and business of book cover design.

Posted inNonfiction, Quote Posts, Reading List

The Art and Business of Book Covers

Here are pieces I’ve enjoyed, new and old, about the art and business of book cover design.
Image by Thomas Abbs (CC BY 2.0)

When I moved out of my previous home, I donated more than three-fourths of my book collection because I was moving into a tiny space. I had no logical process for deciding which books I kept. Some were sentimental, with handwritten notes written inside; others were souvenirs I bought during my travels. These books seemed obvious to keep. Yet I was also inclined to keep hardcovers I’d never read or even opened, simply because the covers were attractive. All of these books, together, would represent my best self — the one I wanted to display on my shelves.

As I read more online, and since my physical shelf space has dramatically shrunk, I wonder: what makes an eye-catching, effective book cover? Which books will make the final cut?

Here are pieces I’ve enjoyed, new and old, about the art and business of book cover design.

1. “Judge This: The Power of First Impressions.” (Chip Kidd, Medium, June 2015)

In this excerpt from his new book, Judge This, Chip Kidd explains that balancing clarity and mystery is important in design, and shows how both elements informed the covers he designed for books by Oliver Sacks, Harry Kramer, Haruki Murakami, and David Sedaris.

Continue reading “The Art and Business of Book Covers”

Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Cheri has been an editor at Longreads since 2014. She's currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area.