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These Books Are Totally Glitchin’

posted October 2, 2009

Posted by Anne Healey in book design

This is an interesting idea for print-on-demand book covers and looks cool, too.  Design student Michael Kosmicki created this series of covers as an entry in the 2009 D&AD Student Awards competition.  They’re based on the concept of intentionally producing a visual glitch using “a logarithm that translates the title and section into a distinct graphic pattern.”  (Thanks to the Book Cover Archive for pointing out these beauties!)

 

 Kosmicki_glitch

 

The assignment was: “Use typography to create a series cover design for Faber Film’s range of books that reflects Faber and Faber’s long history of typographic excellence.”  They also wanted entrants to design specifically for POD (print on demand) by creating a single template that could be used to generate an infinite number of cover designs.  This is a clever solution to that problem!  Plus: pretty!

Michael’s design wasn’t chosen (here are the winners)—it was probably deemed too conceptual for the assignment.

If you’re intrigued by these images, you might be interested in this new book that’s all about art made from glitches (like the image below): Glitch: Designing Imperfection.

 

 1_designing_imperfection


Totally Space Opera Series

posted July 16, 2009

Posted by Anne Healey in book design

I was glad to get a chance to see more photos of Orion Books’ “Totally Space Opera” series, designed by Sandra Zahirovic!  They’re over at FaceOut Books, which has an interview with Sandra about her designs. FaceOut is great about taking hi-res photos of well-designed books, and from all angles, not just the front cover (click on the image to go there and see more images).

Space Opera series

Sandra says she has been worried about the supposed trendiness of the “cut paper aesthetic.” That that didn’t even occur to me—they’re well executed and don’t rely on the cut/folded paper as a gimmick. And the stark black-and-white palette, high contrast, and bold font help counteract any preciousness associated with origami.

Kudos to Orion Books for not diluting Sandra’s work in the name of “marketability.” Other publishers (U.S. ones especially! It’s so disappointing when the U.K. versions of books look so much cooler than ours) ought to take note—see how you can get good publicity by giving designers creative freedom?

You can see more pictures of the books at The Book Cover Archive.


Éditions du Panama Book Covers

posted April 28, 2009

Posted by Anne Healey in book design books publishing

The covers of these novels, published by Les éditions du Panama, are by Pierre di Sciullo, French graphic designer and typographer.

panama_boite panama-braslavsky

panama-mallarme panama_ne-plus

panama_autre-ile panama_chien1

panama_shoot1 panama_route1

I’m sure it’s a coincidence, but the last one is uncannily similar to the cover of Gale’s Contemporary Theatre, Film & Television, which we work on as book developers. I’m guessing they both reference the same kind of mid-century design, but I don’t have much knowledge of design history. Any theories?


Book Covers and the Bloggers Who Love Them

posted April 8, 2009

Posted by Anne Healey in book design

Maybe it’s true that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover—but if you want to judge a book’s cover, you’re in good company! There are a number of blogs dedicated to discussing book cover design. One with a lot of fans is Joseph Sullivan’s The Book Design Review, which he’s been publishing since 2005. Sullivan updates frequently, writing brief, entertaining posts about the latest noteworthy book covers. He tries to track down the name of the designer for each cover he mentions, which I think is great, because the designer is often not credited anywhere in the book.

Another good book-design blog is FaceOut Books, the blog of the Oregon firm DesignWorks Group. The DesignWorks folks choose a book cover they admire and ask the designer to talk about the process of creating it. And the designers generously do so—often including images of sketches, source materials, and rejected ideas. FaceOut is updated every Monday, and the entries are usually quite detailed. I love that DesignWorks is putting energy into such a cooperative approach instead of being snarky and competitive.

Here are a few more good sites about book covers: