The Future of Book Design

This fearless memoir was written by Patricia Gunn and published by Graham Publishing Group.

It’s not a stretch to say that great book design begins with a perfectly designed book cover.  Here is a collection of thoughts about the direction of future book covers.

Why Not a Collage?  Even as kids, we were encouraged to create collages. Out of newspaper, out of photos, out of wrapping paper, out of trinkets.  Think about the power and fun of those creations.  Think about how powerful and engaging a well-designed collage might transpose your book cover.  While this is a trend you will see more of, the key is making sure the cover speaks to what you’ve written and gets the reader to explore the words inside.

The Power of Art.  More and more, cover designers will be thinking like artists. They will be looking for color trends in fashion, in modern art, in sports.  Better to think like an artist than to study merely the trends. If pink is the new black, then why not experiment with pink and purple, pink and orange, pink and gold.

Subtle is OUT.  In today’s world of books, big is bold when it comes to book covers, and bigger is the perfect accent for big.  Make sense?  Don’t just go big; but go big in a creative way. Catch the reader’s eye with big and bold font choices, but sprinkle in texture and light that holds the eye and brings a smile.

What Simmers Also Shines.  Yep, that’s the truth.  You can do almost anything with paper these days, including dashes of simmering colors and textures that jump off the page like splashes of water. You can add foil, sprinkles, and jewel tones.  Brave doesn’t mean messy, however.  Think like a painter or a jeweler.

Sepia with Splashes of Bright.  Love this idea.  Go in one direction with shadows and sepia tones and then highlight with bright reds, metallic blues, and sunset yellows.  Your fonts can use this same balance of bright and muted without looking busy.  Busy is NOT in.  I’m not sure it ever has been.

The beauty of these suggestions is that they work well with both print covers and e-book covers.  Trust your instincts with your cover design.  But trust your imagination just as much.  Look at trends, then look beyond the trends.

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