Friday, 28 September 2012

Judging a book by its cover

It's not everyday that as Graphic Designers we have the chance to voice an opinion on a published design but when we are presented with the chance we try to take it!

JK Rowling's new book The Casual Vacancy is the much anticipated step into an adult audience after the incredible success of the Harry Potter series. When the cover design was released in the Summer we were interested in the choice of style adopted - very hand drawn and brightly coloured.

Since a book is still judged by its cover (visual communication at its purest) I couldn't help but take the opportunity to question Jo Rowling about it at the books launch at the Southbank Centre in London.

One of the biggest issues we have about the cover is not its very hand drawn typography but how the J.K. Rowling text hasn't been created at the same height.

The strong yellow border really highlights the slope that the lettering creates and is something Graphic Designers strive to avoid - being 'almost' straight. Not enough to be on purpose and not too little to avoid looking like a mistake.

I'm sure there is method in this madness and it may become apparent in the story itself that the designer responsible for the design is in fact a genius.

However when I asked Jo Rowling why her name text wasn't straight she said that she was sorry but hadn't noticed it at all!

We're very excited to have recently completed a cover design for an upcoming Disney book - something we took great care to ensure everything was visually very straight and sharp. Maybe it's just a Graphic Designer's obsession?