The Comfort of Thingy-ness…

As a young child, I was taught the inevitable cliché all parents teach their children—never judge a book by its cover. But as a graphic designer, that has proved to be one of the hardest things to do! I am also an avid reader, and I own the Kindle (first generation). As it is black and white and only shows the cover of a book for a nano second, I can get passed reading books with unappealing sleeves and lackluster type; however, that also means that I get to miss out on all of the fantastic covers that would usually draw me in, and make me pick up a book I might not have otherwise thought of perusing.

As Chip Kidd said in his recent TED talk (if you haven’t seen it—it’s a must), “Much is to be gained by eBooks: ease, convenience, portability. But something is definitely lost: tradition, a sensual experience, the comfort of thingy-ness — a little bit of humanity.” I couldn’t agree more. So this weekend, I decided to take a trip to my local Barnes and Nobles (RIP Borders), and walked the aisles for a few hours in a state of nostalgia. Below are just twenty of the covers that I have been missing out on with my handy-dandy digital reader. I believe I might have to own some of them just for their beautiful designs (as I have many books that I own for that very same reason—I am a designer, it’s for inspiration…I can justify it!).

What are some of your favorite book designs? Comment away!

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09. July 2012 by Svetlana Bilenkina
Categories: Inspiration | Tags: | 5 comments

  • I found a new edition of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (Penguin Deluxe edition). It has been embroidered by Jillian Tamaki and it is just gorgeous. (don’t bother looking it up on Amazon. They don’t even have a close-up shot of it. Lame!)

    It makes me want to try embroidery again!

    PS. Found your blog via Pinterest. Love it!

    • I just looked up the Secret Garden cover on Jillian’s website, and I love it! Emma is pretty awesome too :) I may need to get these for myself as well!

  • Naomi

    I absolutely love this post! I’m a new reader, and looking to start pursuing typography. I find myself always doing something with books. I am an avid reader myself, and my nook gives the cover in the size of a thumbnail! I find myself constantly missing out on great lettering styles! This post will keep me busy for days, replicating each cover to the best of my ability, and for that, i thank you! ps please tell what program you use for your weekly posters? I love them so much, but I am completely clueless! Help!

    • Hello Naomi—I had such an awesome time going to the bookstore and just wandering the isles. There are so many fantastic book cover designs out there, and I am sure I didn’t even get to see half of them in my visit! As far as the quoster designs, I generally use Adobe Illustrator for the majority of them, with a dash of Photoshop :) Good luck on all of your typography projects!

  • M

    I’m a sucker for a lovely cover- my bookshelves are overflowing with pretty books and now I want some of these too ; )