Monday, 20 June 2011

Judging books by their covers

Illustration by Jimmy Tierney

I love books, I mean I seriously love books. I own hundreds.
Novels, novellas, poetry anthologies, biographies and Photography books of course.
I adore the smell of them, the emotional rollercoaster they can send you on, the treats they have for your eyes to feast on. I love stroking the spines of them whilst I read. And I know it would save me money to buy them all online, but part of the joy, for me, is the pawing over them in a shop. It feels like a treat.

So naturally, along with gin and puppies, good cover design is something that's guaranteed to set my heart a flutter.

Take the cover above for example. As soon as I saw Vintage had released a set of 3D covers, complete with glasses, I rushed out to get them. What a seriously inspired idea! And one that got me thinking.

There seems to have been a recent push to make printed books more tactile and collectible. Penguin asked us to design our own cover, Faber gave us the beautiful Faber Firsts. Is this a reaction to the new kid in the publishing industry, the Ebook?
I asked Granta's Artistic Director Michael Salu what he thought . . .

"Visual culture is evolving as is the design of books. I think book design will largely become a branding exercise as in music. Hence us using our content to create imagery that will travel."

A place for everything then, I can live with that. I can't quite see me rushing out to buy a Kindle as I did an IPod. But then I guess I was never much of a vinyl collector.
So I shall continue to relish attaching the exact cover to my Good Reads lists, collecting far too many points on my Waterstones card and hiding in the corners of Hatchard's.

Some recent favourite finds

1 comment:

  1. Twitter chums @lucajsage & @iainsarjeant recommended looking at Mark Power's 'The Sound of Two Songs' & 'The Treasurey Project'. Both lovely covers.