Tag Archive: cover design

Scribbly’s Top 5 Illustrated Books

Last week, Georgina and I discussed some of the books we think should be illustrated. During my research for that article, I realised that one of the books on my list, ‘Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell’, which I had only listened to on audio and never seen, was actually illustrated already! This leads on nicely to my topic this week.

As an illustrator myself, I like to have a collection of images and inspirational books around me to aid me in coming up with new ideas. When it comes to working with images and my creative writing, I like to look at fiction books for both children and adults to see how they use illustration to enhance the text. In recent years, with the gradual acceptance of graphic novels as a legitimate reading source, I think the way illustration is used in other books is beginning to become more dynamic. Here are a few of my favourite illustrated books:

A Monster Calls. Patrick Ness.

 

A Monster Calls
by Patrick Ness, illustrated by Jim Kay

Conor is a thirteen-year-old boy who is struggling to deal with his mother’s cancer. His father is absent and he is bullied at school. After many recurring nightmares, one night he wakes to find a monster in his room- apparently the personification of the yew tree he can see out of his bedroom window. Each time the monster (played by Liam Neeson in the film version, due to be released in late 2016) visits to tell Conor its stories, the consequences of their meetings escalate…

At first glance, you’d be forgiven for mistaking ‘A Monster Calls’ for a graphic novel. Jim Kay’s stark black and white illustrations are not for your run of the mill children’s book. Kay, of course, is currently gaining a large amount of publicity in the industry for his work on the soon-to-be-released illustrated editions of the Harry Potter series. His work in ‘A Monster Calls’ is a far cry from the bright and optimistic magical illustrations already released for ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ (release date 6th October 2015). In Ness’s book, Kay uses a mix of paint, blown ink, possibly charcoal and a whole range of other materials to create texture and moods. Such dark images show great potential for what his illustrations for the later Harry Potter books could be like as the series grows darker and more adult.

Monster spread

‘A Monster Calls’ is an award winning children’s book, but it deals with some very complex adult issues. Illness, death, the complexities of being human.

The illustrations themselves are like a living entity. They set the pace of the narrative, surging forward with the action and ebbing away during the calmer periods. They interact directly with the text, sometimes pushing the writing to one side or the other, widening the margins and spreading across them like weeds in the crack of a garden wall. The complexity of some of the images makes them worthy of being put on the wall. This book is as delightful as it is dark.

Tinder_StarsTinder
by Sally Gardner, illustrated by David Roberts

‘Tinder’ is another book aimed at children that resonates adult themes. Gardner was inspired by ‘The Tinderbox’, a story by Hans Christian Anderson. She wanted to retell the tale in an historical context, settling for the time of the Thirty Years War (1618 – 1648) after having a conversation with soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan, who were struggling to settle into civilian life. The resulting tale was ‘Tinder’, which tells of a young soldier, Otto Hundebis, and his encounters with a shaman, werewolves, a beautiful girl, an evil Prince, and Death himself. Otto comes across a tinderbox and, though he throws it away repeatedly, the little box keeps finding its way back to him. With it comes the power to summon three great werewolves. But there is always a price to be paid for such power.

Gardner’s twisting, tangled tale of suffering, adventure and magic is spellbinding. What makes it even more special are David Roberts’s fantastical illustrations. As with ‘A Monster Calls’ the text and illustration grow together on the page, each supporting the other. Primarily black and white, Roberts accentuates the elements of gore in the book with the occasional slash of bright red, sometimes on a girl’s cape or inside the mouth of a salivating wolf.

Tinder spreads

The Invention of Hugo Cabret
written and illustrated by Brian Selznick

This book really is something special. Part written word, part picture book, Hugo is a hybrid of the best kind.

Hugo spreadsHugo is an orphan, twelve years old and living secretly in the walls of a Parisian train station. Using his dead father’s notes, Hugo is trying to fix a mechanical man who he hopes will, when fixed, write a message from his father. When he gets caught stealing parts from a toy shop at the station and he meets an eccentric girl, everything starts to change.

“The Invention of Hugo Cabret is not exactly a novel, and it’s not quite a picture book, and it’s not really a graphic novel, or a flip book, or a movie, but a combination of all these things.” Brain Selznick

Selznick’s book is just over 530 pages long and boasts almost 300 drawings. Whether written or illustrated, each page is bordered in black, resonant of old silent films- a topic which is key to the plot. The black borders tie together the illustrations and the text, as there is no overlapping of the two. In other publications, when images are used as very static plates, maybe at the beginning of chapters, the lack of communication between the words and images is frustrating. But Selznick’s drawings are nothing at all like this. He uses them like stills from a movie, played sequentially to build up a story. The result is that you have to read the illustrations as well as the text in order to grasp a full understanding of the story.

The Edge Chronicles
by Paul Stewart, illustrated by Chris Riddell

edge1

 

The Edge Chronicles is a series of fantasy novels for children, comprised of four trilogies, each centred around one character, and four stand alone books, as well as other publications that link to The Edge world.

Between them, Stewart and Riddell have bought the world of The Edge to life. Riddell’s illustrations have inspired me for over ten years as the accuracy with which he draws completely fictional creatures is so prices its as if they’re posing in front of him. Paired with Stewart’s knack for adventure, this series is the kind of thing you hope your kids will love, as it will give you an excuse to read them too!

edge2

 

As with ‘Tinder’, Riddell’s images sit snugly on the pages, enveloped by Stewart’s words, or enveloping them. Such illustrations are also a useful point of reference- Riddell has meticulously mapped out The Edge, as well as detailing a number of wacky creatures it would be a challenge to imagine a clear image of going by words alone.

edge3

 

The Child Thief
written and illustrated by Brom

This is a dark tale, not for the fainthearted. In ‘The Child Thief’ Brom re-imagines the boy who will never grow up. Peter is a boy raised by wolves. He is charismatic and brave, and after saving Nick’s life in New York City, he wants the kid to follow him back to his land. But its not Neverland. Peter’s magical world, Avalon, is dying. He wants Nick to join his band of soldiers- all abused, lost or runaway children- and to train to become a bloodthirsty warrior, fit to defend Avalon.

The Child Thiefjpg

Child TheifI love this book. Its been a favourite of mine for many years. Its a sour twist on a tale that already had debatably dark undertones. Brom writes like he draws- with fine details and a wicked imagination. ‘The Child Thief’ is peppered with his illustrations. Unlike the other books I’ve listed today, the placing of his images is more old-fashioned. There is a full page black and white drawing at the beginning of each chapter, and eight full colour plates in the centre of the book, depicting eight of the main characters. It is interesting that Brom would chose such a traditional way of displaying his images in a book that is essentially very modern. The juxtaposition actually makes it work in a way, though I feel the plates, instead of being grouped together, would work better spread throughout the book, presenting each character as we meet them. The chapter illustrations I can’t fault. They act as little teasers for what is to come, enticing you to read on.
Child Thief spread
Admittedly, I do not like the cover design at all. It feels too far removed from the artwork inside and the cropping of the central image doesn’t make for a very dramatic illustration. Or maybe I’m being picky.

To see more of the artwork from ‘The Child Theif’, visit Brom’s website.

Next week: As an illustrator, I do often work in the realms of fantasy and make believe. But thats not to say I only read books set in fairy lands with imaginary monsters and pretend suppers. It just so happens that these are the books that are illustrated the most. This is why I’ve set myself the task of finding out more about books that are illustrated, but that aren’t in the fantasy/sci-fi genre. Next week I’ll be introducing you to an unusual book I’ve been reading of late. Its an interacting story for adults and, personally, I think it’s the future of books.

A Brief History of Penguin Design: Part Two

Guest blog by Scribbly Roo, a freelance Illustrator and Graphic Designer working from her home studio in Norfolk, UK, where she writes and illustrates her own graphic novels and children’s picture books.

My last article discussed the rise and success of Penguin Books from when it was founded in 1935, through to 1946 when typography designer Jan Tschichold standardised Penguin’s cover designs and logo in The Penguin Composition Rules- a style guide for the whole company to use.

Further change was seen in the 40s, when Puffin books for children were launched and proved hugely successful. Soon after came the famous Penguin Classics series which included translated texts that were now more accessible than ever before.

When Tschichold returned to Switzerland in 1949, his successor at Penguin was Hans Schmoller, who shared Tschichold’s attention to detail and knowledge of type. Not quite as daring as his predecessor, Schmoller mostly stuck to Tschichold’s templates, refining his designs ever so slightly. His most notable influence was in 1951 when he adopted one of Tschichold’s layouts for a vertical grid that had not yet been launched. Schmoller improved the design and released it. I think this version of the Penguin cover works brilliantly with some of the wood cuts and illustrations included, as the vertical stripes create more space for extra information. The non-illustrated versions are equally as effective as they include a mini blurb on the front cover- almost unheard of today!

schmoller vertical covers

 

1960 was met by Penguin with controversy as, after publishing ‘Lady Chatterly’s Lover’ (cover design by Stephen Russ) the publishing house was charged under the Obscene Publications Act, but was later acquitted. The publicity and controversy heightened sales of the book. In just six weeks, Penguin had sold 2 million copies of the paperback, paving the way to a cease in book censorship.

In 1961, Italian art director and contemporary designer Germano Facetti was hired to breathe new life into Penguin’s designs, which although once ahead of the trends, were now looking jaded and old-fashioned. Cover designs steadily became more image-based and experimental throughout the sixties as technology in printing improved. This montage-like cover was designed by Giannetto Coppola, encapsulating the vibe of the sixties in bold, vibrant colours.

simone de beavoir

clockwork_orange

Facetti commissioned a number of artists and designers to create book covers for Penguin, in order to refresh the company’s look. The result was a dynamic mix of contemporary styles, some of which remain iconic to this day. David Pelham’s cover design for ‘A Clockwork Orange’ was an overnight rush job, but his “cog-eyed image” has been used almost like a brand for the book ever since.

Facetti worked on the redesign of the Penguin Crime series in 1962 with Polosh-born designer Romek Marber, who had previously created some impressive cover designs for The Economist. Marber kept the green crime colour coding in his esignesigns, but made it brighter, which complimented his use of bold images fantastically.

crime series

 

The series was so successful that Facetti adopted the style for several other series, including Penguin Fiction. These Graham Greene book covers were designed by illustrator Paul Hogarth.

fiction series

 

ways of seeing

In 1970, Sir Allen Lane died and Penguin was bought by international media group, Pearson. The company continued to thrive, despite incidents like Schmoller’s (then a director at Penguin) reaction to Richard Hollis’s design for ‘Ways of Seeing’ by John Burgess. According to design critic Alice Rawsthorn, the cover design is now “cherised by design buffs”, but at the time, Schmoller was so disgusted by the jacket that he threw it down a corridor. Personally, I can see why.

In 1972, Facetti left Penguin. In just over ten years working at the company, he’d revolutionised Penguin’s approach to design, modernising hundreds of titles. In his wake, there was not a huge amount of design-related change for Penguin throughout the coming years. Arguably, Penguin designs became more conservative again. TV tie-in books were now hitting the shelves, to the disgust of designers everywhere. Rawsthron writes “design was marginalised as Penguin adopted the financially driven culture of corporate publishing.”

Always at the forefront of technology, Penguin began to launch audiobooks in 1993. They also became the first trade publisher to have a website, and later an ebook store.

In 2004, nostalgia hit Penguin and the company started to re-adopt some of its old design values. Junior designer and Penguin archives enthusiast, David Pearson, was given the task of designing the Great Ideas series. The project was not expected to do very well, so everyone was stunned when Pearson’s designs won numerous awards and more than two million copies from the series were sold. It was believed the sales were in large part due to Pearson’s beautiful designs, which looked like a far leap from Penguin’s other jacket designs at the time, but which actually drew on the company’s design heritage from as far back as the early days of the company. More series were commissioned in this style as Penguin publishers realised people were prepared to buy new versions of older books if the cover design was enticing enough, despite cheaper second-hand versions being now readily available online.

GreatIdeas1

 

Today, Penguin has offices in fifteen countries, including India, Australia, South Africa and China. The publishing giant proudly “caters for every stage of a reader’s lifetime.” To celebrate their 75th birthday, the Penguin Decades series was released, printing new editions of Penguin’s most popular books from the fifties to the eighties. They featured original cover designs by Peter Blake, Zandra Rhodes, Alan Aldridge and John Squires. “These beautiful editions celebrate Penguin’s extraordinary design heritage as well as following Allen Lane’s ethos of making great writing affordable and available to everybody.”

In July 2013, Penguin united with Random House to form Penguin Random House, “the world’s first truly global trade book publisher.”

Helpful links:

Design Museum: http://design.designmuseum.org/design/penguin-books

Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2006/oct/28/art1

Telegraph picture gallery: Penguin Books Through the Ages: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/expatpicturegalleries/7900142/Penguin-books-through-the-ages.html

Penguin Random House: http://global.penguinrandomhouse.com/

A Brief History of Penguin Design: Part One

Guest blog by Scribbly Roo, a freelance Illustrator and Graphic Designer working from her home studio in Norfolk, UK, where she writes and illustrates her own graphic novels and children’s picture books.

As promised in my previous blog on graphic designer David Pearson, this week I’m looking at Penguin Books and their design history. Penguin was founded in 1935 when Allen Lane (then director at publishing house, The Bodley Head) got sick of the meagre selection of affordable books on the market. His dream was to make good quality fiction available to everyone.

After an idea suggested by Lane’s secretary, twenty-one year old Edward Young was sent to London Zoo to sketch penguins in order to create a “dignified but flippant” logo for Lane’s new venture. The original penguin illustration, with slight variations, stayed with the company until 1949 when Jan Tschichold created the “definitive penguin” that we still recognise today. The logo was subtly re-designed by Angus Hyland in 2003 to be a little thinner, with both feet sat on a horizontal line. And in 2007 David Pearson put two penguins side by side, as if they are dancing, for his winning design of the relaunched Popular Classics series. Whatever the variations, the Penguin logo is now iconic and is recognised globally.

Penguin logos

 

When the first Penguin paperbacks were published in the summer of 1935, the public’s view of books was changed forever. Editions of Agatha Christie and Ernest Hemingway now cost the same as a cigarette packet, and fitted in your coat pocket. Within a year of becoming independent of Bodley Head, Penguin had sold 3 million paperbacks.

Albatross covers

 

The early cover designs were heavily influenced by the German publishing house, Albatross. Like Albatross, Penguin colour-coded its books; orange for fiction, blue for biographies, pink for adventure, green for crime and yellow for miscellaneous. This utilitarian style with its simple grid layout and plain sans serif lettering kept printing costs down, ensuring the books remained affordable. The design also complimented the new Modernist movement that was beginning to spread through Britain, made especially popular since the launch of Harry Beck’s map of the London Underground in 1933.

Harry Beck map

In 1937, Penguin expanded its offices and launched its Penguin Shakespeare series, as well as Pelican for contemporary non-fiction. Their popularity soared in the late 30s to early 40s with topical publications on Adolph Hitler and Aircraft Recognition as the threat of war in Europe increased then broke out. Soldiers and civilians alike used such books for vital reference, identifying enemy planes. The small size of the paperbacks meant they could be carried in a soldier’s pocket wherever they went.

War books Penguin

During this time, the cover designs of Penguin books became, in my opinion, a little chaotic. Images were introduced- sometimes photographs, often illustrations -and font sizes varied, stepping away from the uniform uppercase titles of the company’s previous publications. Perhaps this was due to the use of caricatures and dynamic type in wartime propaganda adverts, or the need for more information on the covers so civilians would be drawn to the potentially vital information each the books contained.

Things changed in 1946, when German typography designer Jan Tschichold was brought in to standardise Penguin’s covers and logo. As well as updating the Penguin logo and creating eight official versions of it, he laid down rules for how each book design element should be used, from the font used to the spacing between the letters. He encouraged the editors and printers to follow this new style guide religiously, emphasising that in good design and branding, consistency is everything.

Tschichold covers

Arguably, these are what most people think of as the classic Penguin books. As a graphic designer, I love the simplicity and use of space. However, as a reader, the uniformity gives nothing away about each individual publication. In his three years working for Penguin, Tschihold went as far as using illustrations on the jackets of certain book sets, including the Shakespeare series, but by the end of the fifties his designs were considered outdated. It was time for Penguin to remake itself again for a modern age.

Next time: In part two of this brief history, I’ll be looking at Penguin book cover designs throughout the 60s through to the 90s and up to the present day.

 

David Pearson on working for Penguin

Guest blog by Scribbly Roo, a freelance Illustrator and Graphic Designer working from her home studio in Norfolk, UK, where she writes and illustrates her own graphic novels and children’s picture books.

In October 2012, I had the pleasure of attending a talk entitled ‘Cover to Cover’ at Arnolfini in Bristol. It was hosted by designers Teresa Monachino, who I’ve detailed in my previous blog, and David Pearson who I am looking at today. This article is based largely on his lecture, encompassing his love of design, type and what it is like to work for one of the most well known publishing houses in the UK and America…

Even as a young university student, David Pearson was determined he was going to work for Penguin as a book cover designer. Some of his earliest memories, before he could read, are of playing with numbered Penguin books. He informed his university tutors he was already consciously working in a ‘Penguin style’ and spent a lot of his third year searching tirelessly for jobs at the publishing house.

His first job at Penguin was as a Junior Text Designer. Sadly, this involved little in the way of designing, but Pearson acknowledges the job actually taught him a lot of vital thinking skills that he still uses to this day.

Six months into his job, the Text Design department at Penguin was unfortunately disbanded. This worked in Pearson’s favour, however, as he was finally taken into the Cover Design department. The world of publishing, particularly at such a large company as Penguin, is incredibly busy. This means that even those working at a Junior level are given a large amount of responsibility. And this is where Pearson flourished.

Fascinated by the Penguin archives, Pearson soon developed projects around them which he was allowed to work on in his spare time. This has given him a vast knowledge when it comes to the history of Penguin cover design, its pitfalls and its successes. Such knowledge made him the perfect candidate to take on the more experimental projects in the department, often handed to junior designers as it was unclear if they’d work out or not. The briefs for such projects were dauntingly minimal, but also allowed for a fair amount of design freedom as a result. Not confident in drawing or photography, Pearson used his skills in type to his advantage, bringing title pages to the outside of the books he worked on, feeling confidence in his ideas as he knew from the archives that this fitted well with the Penguin brand.

GreatIdeas1

 

These covers are from the first series of Penguin ‘Great Ideas’. When presenting his designs for this project at the cover meeting, Pearson soon discovered it was better to show the images side by side, all together instead of individually. This way, you see them as a series, each design complimenting the next. Generally, his designs were quickly approved of when viewed in this manner, whereas meetings could go on a lot longer when looking at the designs separately. I can see where Pearson is coming from. Looking at some of the ‘Great Ideas’ covers on their own, I feel a little non-plussed. But as a whole, the designs work beautifully together, co-ordinating so satisfyingly and using such unusual type that they are bold graphic design statements as much as they are book covers.

As well as the Penguin archives, Central Saint Martin’s Picture Library is also a fantastic resource Pearson uses. It was here that he met Professor of Typography, Phil Baines, a very established typographer and graphic designer who has had a big influence on Pearson’s work ever since. Pearson designed the clever cover of Baines’ 2005 publication ‘Penguin By Design’ which looks at Penguin paperbacks from 1935 to the present and how their changing designs reflect the developments of British publishing and the role of artists and designers in ‘creating and defining the Penguin look.’

penguinbydesign1

 

As Pearson’s designs for Penguin proved more and more popular, his confidence grew and he began to experiment more with using illustrations in his designs instead of just type. The Penguin ‘Great Love’ series is a good example of how Pearson’s designs have developed with each project he has undertaken. His clever use of illustration in this series gives each book cover the quality of an iconic poster or art gallery print. I’d want these book covers on my walls as much as I want the book themselves on my shelf.

greatloves

 

It is interesting that the digital age of ebooks has not yet spelled the end for printed physical volumes. During the Q and A at the end of his lecture, Pearson explained how he thinks the digital revolution has actually been good for book design. He thinks that previously the demand for quantity in print meant the quality of such books was affected. Now, however, the making of physical books has a greater meaning behind it. Maybe books in the future will be more fetishised and used to furnish rooms or coffee tables, but at least they’ll be designed well!

If you haven’t come across any of the covers in this blog so far, Uk readers will almost certainly know about the £2 Penguin Popular Classics. Yes, I’m talking about the lurid green ones!

PopularClassics

 

In 2007, Penguin relaunched their Popular Classics series with brand new covers. They’d held an in-house competition to find a good design for the covers, and David Pearson’s simple but striking type-based design won. It was a wonderful contrast to the dated-by-comparison classics series that was currently on the shelves- featuring classical paintings overlaid with the title and author information in an oval. Pearson’s design was refreshingly modern. It was also in a lovely shade of maroon, and the overall worry was that this beautiful design was actually too desirable! Why would anyone pay £7.99 or more on a book with a fancy introduction and reference notes when the £2 editions were so much prettier!? So, having won the competition, Pearson was then tasked with making his design less desirable, thus ensuring that the pricier versions of the classical books would keep selling too.

Not wanting to compromise his clean typesetting and flawless design, Pearson settled for changing the lovely maroon shade of his design to the most lurid of greens- so lurid, in fact, that it had to be specially mixed before the books could be printed, as Penguin had never before used such an appalling shade. Admittedly, I actually really love the green editions of Penguin Popular Classics as they completely contradict what you’d expect from a design for classic literature. I think it carries a lovely sense of humour, as well as fulfilling Penguin’s original aim to make the classics more accessible to everyone.

Pearson’s talk was littered with so many interesting anecdotes and design tips that I feel I’ve hardly scratched the surface in this article. I love and admire his work. If you’d like to find out more on his work, have a look at this article in Eye Magazine and see his portfolio at TypeAsImage.com

Next week: Inspired by revisiting Pearson’s cover designs for Penguin, I’ll be taking a look at how Penguin covers have changed over the years. See you next time!

 

Word Play with Teresa Monachino

Guest blog by Scribbly Roo, a freelance Illustrator and Graphic Designer working from her home studio in Norfolk, UK, where she writes and illustrates her own graphic novels and children’s picture books.

Monachino is an internationally recognised, award winning graphic designer. Her work spans many talents, from digital media to publishing, book design to branding and more. She’s written and designed multiple publications, displaying her fantastic sense of humour as well as her vast understanding of the English language- particularly its quirks!

Initially, I was just going to talk about a few examples of Monachino’s book cover designs and how they have inspired me personally. However, looking back through the plethora of her work I think its worth talking more about her publications and how she uses design to play with words. While this might not initially link totally with book design, bear with me and you’ll begin to understand how work such as Teresa’s can influence your cover designs (and possibly even your writing).

Monachino’s knowledge of the English language, along with her flare for typesetting has influenced her work for a long time. In April 2012 she gave a TEDMED talk about the flaws in communication throughout the healthcare system, discussing how vagueness, stigma, double meanings and lack of continuity in our use of words and language has caused a communication breakdown when it comes to health. Using her ‘Sicktionary’ A to Z, she lists various ambiguous words and phrases that we all commonly use, despite how contradictory their meanings can be. For example, Monachino points out ‘impregnable’ means both ‘impossible to enter by force’ but also ‘to permeate thoroughly.’

Spread1WordsFailMeWords Fail Me Cover

Spread2WFM

 

Spread3WFM

Similarly, in her limited edition book ‘Around the World with the Bodoni Family’, Monachino takes us on an amusing journey from A to Z of places, using handprinted Bodoni type to create simple images associated with each place. For example, the letter A is used in different sizes to become a mountain range, representing the Alps, while an italic I is used to represent the leaning tower of Pisa in Italy. Again, these designs are satisfyingly witty and their bold simplicity makes for a really effective design. The fact that only forty copies were printed using old-fashioned letterpress makes the publication all the more desirable.

Bodoni1

Bodoni2

 

Bodoni3

Now let’s take a look at how this approach to design comes across in Monachino’s covers. As a lecturer at my University, she discussed her methods and thinking often. Her focus and attention to detail was infectious. Her designs are immaculately executed and hearing her talk about them really brought them to life for me.

One of her most effective book cover designs was for Monty Don’s ‘Extraordinary Gardens of the World,’ which went on to win a prestigious D&AD award in 2010. With so much in the way of content, it would have been tempting to hide from the challenge by putting a photograph of the Don himself on the cover design, but Monachino was more ambitious, creating a stylish graphic pattern instead that was inspired by Japanese Zen gardening. Immediately the bold cover stood out from the rest on the shelves in the Gardening section of her local book shop! Then, adding just a touch of luxury, Monachino had her design flocked, so the dark green we see on screen is actually a soft velvet texture, reminiscent of fresh cut lawns which creates a direct link between the design and the content of the book.

MontyDonBook

If you’ve read my previous blogs, you’ll know that Monachino’s lectures were a real insight into how her job works and the processes she goes through to create an effective and successful overall design. She gave great tips on identifying five main features of a book you are asked to create a cover for, then showed how she combines them- a task often made more difficult by restrictions with copyright laws- and then checks the over all success of a design by placing it actually in a bookstore in the relevant genre, to judge whether it stands out or blends in too much. These tips are really beneficial and definitely worth remembering. Clearly she uses these methods to great advantage in the design world and her publications will continue to wow book worms and designers alike.

Next time: What is the thinking behind the cover designs of one of the most well known publishing houses in the world? In my next blog, I’ll be introducing you to David Pearson, designer and archive enthusiast at Penguin Books.