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Judging a Book by its Cover

When a person first sees an eye-catching book cover on a bookshelf in a store or a library, the cover gives the potential reader an impression. Whether the cover is for a Biology 103 textbook, a popular new thriller novel, or a fashion and beauty magazine for teens, the individual focuses their attention on these covers and makes a brief judgment on whether or not they recognize it or want to pick it up. Book covers can also turn viewers away if it looks cheaply made, unprofessional, or unrelated to the genre.

Successfully designed book covers entice readers and appeal to their emotions, while keeping its design true to the content, identity, and personality of the book. For instance, a cookbook on modern Indian cuisine would look vastly different compared to a biography of a famous European engineer.

In addition, book cover designs should also have appropriate layout formatting, composition, typography, hierarchy, and coherence to tie all the visual elements together. It should be simple enough for potential readers to easily understand what to expect and to emphasize the achievement of harmony through details and conceptual elements to make it off the shelf and into the hands of a curious reader.

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