Book Cover Designs

Wonderful Book Cover Design

The old adage notwithstanding, reader can and do judge a book by its cover. The prospective reader at the local Barnes & Noble who picks a book up off the rack spends on average eight seconds looking at the picture on the front jacket and twice that looking at words on the back. Other factors influence his or her purchase decision as well, such as the book’s subject, its author’s reputation, media reviews and recommendations from friends.bookcover

But if a prospective reader doesn’t like the cover, chances are he or she won’t buy the book.

What makes great book cover design? Experts say, except for children’s books, it’s not the picture but the colors, title and clarity of the cover text that lure customers. Potential purchasers need to be able to read the title without difficulty. Certain typefaces are associated with certain genres; books that use those cover fonts are sending a signal to the reader that they’re a specific type of book. The color most likely to be seen by a prospective reader on a book table across a crowded room is red, but while red may be appropriate for a thriller, its subliminal message of “Danger!? may make it inappropriate for a how-to book. What about graphics? Do beautiful book covers sell books? Not necessarily, say those in the know. What readers are basically looking for is reassurance they’re going to like the words between the covers. What sparks that sense of comfort is a purely┬ásubjective reaction that varies from reader to reader. Busy book jackets are a distraction. The best book cover graphics focus and expand upon a single central element in that book to pique the reader’s curiosity and no more. One of the most successful line of book covers of all time were the Penguin Paperback line, which were color coded. Whatever the art on the cover, readers knew that an orange cover meant fiction, a green cover meant crime, and a blue cover meant crime. Penguin’s classic grid cover style, which used a simple Helvetica font, lasted well into the 1970s, a sure indication that what readers are looking for is a guarantee of quality between a book’s covers.