The Book Cover Archive: covers for reading images
Article for online trends magazine TheTrendNet
For a book to be read it doesn’t just have to be good. Sometimes, this isn’t even the criteria we follow, because before we are readers, we are consumers affected by factors such as a publishing company’s power to enter the market, the distribution and promotion of an author, and all those things that, in the end, help a book become a best-seller.
However, there are other deciding factors among which the one affecting designers stands out: the front cover, which, as it’s name suggests, is also the front entrance to a book. How many times have we chosen a title only for its image, for what that illustration evokes, for what the picture says to us, for the originality of the font… And, certainly, the cover leads us to read the book: it’s a vital part of its content, a key to interpretation, the frame from which the reader is summoned. Or rather, what we read in a book isn’t just what goes from the first to the last line of text. If a book is black, it’s saying something different to what it would be saying if it were fluorescent yellow.
All this is easy to sense in The Book Cover Archive, an archive of resources centred on book covers where you can filter information based on different categories: designers, titles, authors, art directors, photographers, illustrators, genres, publishing date, company and even font styles.
It also has a compilation of links to other interesting sites and portfolios by well-known designers. It is, most definitely and above all, a place to read images, find inspiration and appreciate the application (and breaking) of the the five rules of book cover design by John Gall, artistic director of Vintage and Archor Books (labels by Random House):