Friday, January 30, 2009

A plea for better book design

Why are there so few well designed book covers to be found? Even if the illustration is good, the placement of the title, font, color, and overall look of the book, in too many cases, is completely uninspired. I am speaking predominantly about young adult novels. Unfortunately, as the author, or even as the jacket illustrator of a novel, you have no power over the design of your book, (that is, in 99% of the cases). There are hordes of good graphic designers out there. Are none of them interested in working on Children's Books? Or, (and that's probably it) aren't they paid/appreciated  enough? Maybe, if there would be an award for best jacket design, as well respected as say, the Newbery. This would change. I won't list the books I don't like here, but I will list a few fine pieces of work. As you maybe noticed, almost all of these books won big awards. Maybe the jacket design had a teensy bit to do with that, maybe not. But can we send a plea out in the universe?
A plea for better design?
Book Covers shown: The Tale of Desperaux, by Kate Dicamillo, Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick, Fly Solo, by Teresa Rodriguez Williamson, Rules, by Cynthia Lord, The Rules of Survival, by Nancy Werlin.

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