Book cover design

Book Cover Design, Rule 1:

Book Cover Design, Rule 2:

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October 26, 2016

The book cover design is one of marketing tools a publishing industry uses for ensuring and increasing sell ability of published manuscripts. In following article(s) I will try to outline its place, importance and purposes within the entire publishing process, its future and trends and most importantly describe design process and set of rules that can - according to array of book cover designers living and working in different countries around the world - lead to successful, desirable cover design. 

Factors affecting sell ability of the book

Publishing constitutes a unique branch of a commercial design. It has its o...

October 24, 2016

The cover is a face of the book, a reader’s first insight into the story within

As already mentioned, the first and most important purpose of the book cover design is attracting the eye of the potential buyer. As Jason Heuer (2012) says, ‘it’s like a first impression on a date. A literary flirtation, or when done best, a seduction’. One could add that the part of this seduction is to let the content to sell itself, once the interest has been awoken. For that reason the cover always needs to correspond with the content within. To establish this connection, Chip Kidd (2012) likes to ask himself the question ‘What does the...

October 23, 2016

Do not think the reader stupid

This is a basic rule of all branches of commercial design. It implies that ‘you should either say Apple or show an apple, never both’ (Chip Kidd, 2012). In other words, the designer should treat the audience as intelligent human beings and therefore design the cover accordingly. 
By expressing the same message through both pictorial and written elements the designer not only loses valuable chance to convey more hints to the potential buyer, but also underestimates readers, most likely the brightest and best educated sort of audience. Especially the new generation of young readers, that...

November 26, 2015

I love Brian´s books so I was thrilled when he responded to my plea for help with my dissertation papers and answered my questions. His answers were just splendid and helped me enormously - and not just to do the best possible dissertation. I hope you can also benefit from his knowledge, his obvious passion for his work and his good heart. 

Brian Lies is the award-winning author/illustrator of the Bat series. His books Bat at the Beach, Bat at the library and Bat at the Ball Game are the New York Times bestsellers and his another book Bats in the Band came out in August 2014 was also fabulous. You can visit his website h...

November 12, 2015

Get to know the character(s) is important for both writting and illustrating. Here are some studies I have made.


Character study mind-map guidelines:


When forming a character, I like to think of all details that define the character, even though I am not going to use all of this information in the story itself. I found that making these studies helps me with building more believable characters and gives them an added layer of personality.

In this mind map you can see the very basic areas that are to be explored when creating new character. I usually start with these and let them trigger more detailed, deeper understandin...

April 14, 2015

A fine relationship between words and images is vital for picture books. To establish it, picture needs to add to the story what the words leave out. Both the author and the illustrator should have this fact in mind when working on the book.


Now if you are IN THE POSITION OF THE ILLUSTRATOR, your work starts when the manuscript is finished. Of course part of the job – and I would say huge part of it – is a research. Not just for your drawings, but also for the story. If you want to do the manuscript justice, you really need to understand the story and know it well. The best way how to start is to fall in love with it, b...

April 13, 2015

In picture books text and illustration are merged together so well that one cannot live without the other without loosing a lot of its value. Of course the importance of text and illustration in picture book varies, usually in accordance with the age group the book is aimed for.


When I create a new picture book, I usually start with writing the first draft of the manuscript. It means I start with the words. Of course during the writing I always keep in mind the relationship that will need to take place and try to leave open span for a variety of interesting pictures. I would say that generaly it is best to con...

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