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book design posts

book design posts

Cover Typography

Posted by Michelle White on August 4, 2020 at 3:30 PM

Until you publish a book, you may never have thought about how much goes into the cover design. You may already have an idea in mind about what the cover might look like and how to visually portray your book. You will bring this idea along with any other information like the genre, target market, budget, and schedule to your designer before the work begins. They will take all of this and more into consideration to put together a cover that best represents your book and compels people to buy it.

 

Covers with only typography and no pictures are becoming more and more popular. With online sales becoming increasingly important, this sort of design has an advantage in that the title shows up well in small sizes on mobile devices. The font, color, size, and hierarchy work together to create a great cover. The typography can mean the difference between a home-made appearance and a professional design.

 

With or without imagery on the cover, the font can evoke an emotion or mood, bring to mind a time and place, provoke action, or instill peace. Think of a romance cover with a swirly, pretty font that makes one think of a medieval princess, or crayon drawn letters that evoke childhood, or large, bold, capital letters that mean business.

 

The color used also has a profound effect on the viewer. Warm colors like red, orange, and yellow create energy and passion and are often used in adventure or dramatic fiction. Cool colors like blue, green, and purple are associated with calm, relaxation, and reliability, and you see them most often in spirituality or financial advice books. The color of the text can complement or create contrast with the background color or image. A complementary color scheme can be soothing, as in a spiritual memoir, whereas contrasting colors can make a book more exciting and noticeable, like a fun children’s book.

 

In addition to font and color, the size and positioning of the text on the page is important. Centered copy suggests balance and order, whereas flush left is most quickly readable and conservative. Less common is aligning the text to the right to give it an offbeat feel. Sometimes, positioning each word in relation to the other without any particular alignment is the best way to get the message across. It also has to be positioned in relation to any imagery around it.

 

The most important aspect of cover design, however, is visual hierarchy. The layout should control the order in which the eye looks at the elements of the cover. This is why books by a well-known writer have the author’s name larger and more prominent than the title of the book. Color theory comes into play here as well. Cool colors recede and warm colors pop, so an orange title stands out and a blue subtitle is visually subordinate. If they eye doesn’t know where to look first because the title, subtitle, author, and picture are competing for attention, you may subconsciously just move on to the next book.

 

You may not consciously notice how all of these things affect how you see a book cover. In fact, if a cover is done right, the effect is subliminal. You should be able to recognize the genre, catch the mood, ascertain the topic, and decide whether you are interested in the book in literally the blink of an eye. In the fast pace of glance-and-click, it can make all the difference. After all, they need to open the book before you can dazzle them with your wonderful writing.

 

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