Underneath the dust jacket of hardcover books there are sometimes design elements hidden within the physical object. These surprise components can go unnoticed in a retail setting, only to be discovered after purchase. Book cover designer and Booktuber Holly Dunn joins us to look at a few examples of what you might discover upon inspecting the books on your shelf.
The UK paperback version of Orphans of the Carnival features amazing paper cutouts created by the skilled hands of the design duo that is Andersen M. Here, in their own words, they share a little on who they are and how they went about developing the artwork of this cover.
Anne Jordan and husband Mitch Goldstein are designers based in Rochester, New York. Among their collaborative works is the book cover for The Gist of Reading from Stanford University Press, due out in early 2018. Here they detail their process for developing the cover.
Sarah Darby possesses a multitude of talents. From designer to art director, to Illustrator and photographer. Here in her own words, Darby details for Spine how she used her skills to step up as illustrator for the extremely successful Joss Stirling book series for Oxford University Press.
Zoe Norvell is a Brooklyn based freelance cover designer. Among her incredible portfolio of work is the cover design for The Redemption of Galen Pike, by Carys Davies. Here Norvell details her process for developing the work, in her own words.
Designer Jo Walker has an impressive portfolio of book covers. Among her amazing works are jackets for the novels of Laline Paull, published by 4th Estate. Here, in her own words, Walker details the rationale behind the design for the most recent of these books, The Ice.
Steve Panton is a cover designer and illustrator in London. Among his works are the jackets for Christina Kovac's The Cutaway, Eugenia Cheng's Beyond Infinity, and Katie Kitamura's A Separation.Here Panton shares with Spine an in-depth review of his creation for Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep, a design for which he was awarded 2nd prize for Penguin Design Award Adult Competition 2013.
Elena Giavaldi is a book cover designer and illustrator based in Brooklyn, New York, currently working as an Art Director at Penguin Random House. We took a moment to catch up with her and discuss her background, process and projects that bring her joy.
When Mariner Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, sought to reissue the popular Orwell classic, 1984, they contacted designer Mark Robinson to come up with a jacket for the hardcover. The final product is quite striking. Here, Robinson details for Spine his process for creating the eye-catching cover.
Anne Jordan and husband Mitch Goldstein are designers based in Rochester, New York. Among their collaborative works is the book cover for Us&Them, a novel about an Iranian-American family, exploring ideas of fragmented lives, family tensions, and migration. Here they detail their process for creating this amazing piece.
When HarperCollins cover designer Jenna Stempel was asked to design the cover for Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give, she was sure that the book would prove to be successful. She could not, however, have foreseen just how successful.
Hand lettering on book covers is a trend that has become increasingly popular in the past few years. Rather than rely on existing typefaces, many designers are opting to draw their own type. Book cover designer and Booktuber Holly Dunn joins us to review a few examples of hand lettering, and share her insight on the process.
Jaya Miceli is an Art Director for Scribner, an imprint of Simon and Schuster. Among her designs includes the covers for Zoey Leigh Peterson's Next Year For Sure, Katie Kitamura's A Separation, and Charles Lambert's The Children's Home. Miceli was kind enough to answer a few questions for Spine.
Melissa Four is a very talented book cover designer whose creations include jackets for Fates and Furies, A Gentleman in Moscow, and How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids. She also developed the cover for Tom Dyckhoff's The Age of Spectacle: Adventures in Architecture and the 21st-Century City, a project for which she had to teach herself how to draw in CAD
Though Last Christmas in Paris won't hit bookstores until October, critics are already praising the book, a romantic, epistolary novel that takes place during World War I. "Unputdownable," wrote bestselling author Karen White. "Last Christmas in Paris stands out not just for the beautiful prose, but also for the characters that literally shimmer on the page. Kudos to Ms. Gaynor and Ms. Webb for … this remarkable novel that will undoubtedly go on my keeper shelf."
Kate Gaughran is a freelance cover designer whose work includes book jackets for Asking For It, Green Glowing Skull, and Don’t Die in Autumn. She spoke with Spine about her process for designing these, as well as answered a few other questions for us.
"One too many people asked me if 'Sleepwalker's' was going to have a sequel, and that kind of question makes me claustrophobic in my soul." In part to push her creative self forward to the next narrative while avoiding this constant question, to skirt the Second Book trap/trope, Jacob moved into a different medium: the graphic memoir.
It was an absolute joy working on The Good People by Hannah Kent. From the very opening pages I was overwhelmed by the rural landscape and how intrinsically it echoed the beauty and fragility of the lives it surrounded – the love, grief and terrible loss. The atmosphere it created for me was almost a physical one that stayed with me long after I finished reading.
A peek at writer Ann Mah’s Instagram feed reveals crusty bread, sunny Parisian kitchens, and candids of her 3-year-old daughter in New York City. As a travel journalist and novelist, Mah firmly embraces the belief that a writer is ideally a wanderer: perhaps there’s a home base, but the inspiration of new experiences and surroundings is a necessity.
Working as a cover designer affords all sorts of benefits: free books, a variety of projects and of course the ability to walk into a bookshop on the other side of the country and see your design work on display. But as with everything in life, working as a cover designer comes with its own set of challenges. Spine spoke with talented designer Emily Mahon to get her perspective.
Erika Swyler's writing practice is summed up in two basic phrases, practical sentences nothing like the lovely prose she spun in her first novel The Book of Speculation and numerous short stories. Her debut bestseller follows two threads stitching together the story of 21st-century Long Island librarian Simon Watson with that of an 18th-century carnival troupe.
Jenna Stempel is a Senior Designer at HarperCollins Children's Books in NYC with work notably featured in the New York Times and the 2015 New York Book Show. Here she talks with Spine once more about her elaborate design process in creating the anniversary book covers for the Little House on The Prairie Trilogy box set - presumably no easy task!
"I often compare it to making a big pot of stew, gathering all the necessary ingredients, preparing them, boiling them up, then simmering them down and hoping to get something that isn't too burnt at the end.