Friday, February 3, 2012

Inspirations for Book Design: A Followup

Unless I start getting more book design gigs, I doubt I'll talk much more about the nuts and bolts of the thing*. If you have questions, post them in the comments thread on this post or the previous one and I'll try my best to answer them or send you someplace that can.

Please Note: The guidelines I jotted down yesterday are neither absolute nor inviolate (except the part about legibility. If I can't read your title, I probably won't read your book.)  Professional designers break the rules all the time. Design rules are like grammar rules: in order to break them, you really need to know what they are first.

That post is purposely incomplete; it's just meant to get you started and keep your cover from getting in your way. It's a starting point; as always, the rest of the journey is up to you.

For Further Reading: Inspirational Links and Places to Get Ideas

  • The Casual Optimist Dan Wagstaff's beautiful and minimalist blog about books, book design, and the culture of bookstores and book people. Celebrates book design in a way you don't often see, especially the minimalist, retro, and vintage stuff. My advice: Start here.
  • The Book Cover Archive: Exactly what it says in the title.  Great stuff. The best of the best. Lots of images and inspiration. (Every image displays first as a thumbnail: proving my point that great design is scalable design.)
  • Chronicle Books: Some small publishers get it exactly right. IMO: Chronicle is at the head of that particular pack.
  • The Book Designer: a blog about books and design and how they interact. Lots of great stuff.
  • Melissa Evans: For those who are wondering "Yeah, but if I do buy that copy of Photoshop, what do I do with it?" I suggest this blog. Melissa is a graphic artist with a boatload of great, easy-to-follow Photoshop tutorials. 

*Yes, I am for available to hire on a freelance basis. If you want to enquire about prices, email me and I'll try my best not to shock you with my quote.

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Pages to Type is a blog about books, writing and literary culture (with the occasional digression into coffee and the care and feeding of giant robots).