Thommy Ford Reads

A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library

The Book Cover Archive

This month we’re celebrating book cover design with a display hand picked by the Adult Services staff for what’s on the outside of the book. So stop by, take a look, and see if any clever covers can convince you to take home an unfamiliar title.

To get you thinking a bit about what goes into making good book design I’m referring you to a great online resource for book cover info, The Book Cover Archive.

This site can get addictive if you love either graphic design or books. You can browse their archive of book covers by designer, illustrator, author, genre, date, and even typeface. So that was Akzidenz Grotesk on the cover of Samuel R. Delany’s Nova, who knew?  Their homepage is really just a gallery of covers that you can “randomize.”  Click on a book that appeals to you and it will tell you who designed it and link to a gallery of other books designed by the same artist. There’s an excellent blog connected to the archive and an equally excellent list of links to other book cover blogs or resources.

My only qualm with The Book Cover Archive is that there isn’t more of it. It would be particularly interesting to see the site expand more into the history of book design.  You’ll notice as you flip through its 1350 or so covers that the number of older designs are too few and far between.

To get you started, here are a few of my favorite designer galleries from The Book Cover Archive:

  • David Pearson designed these covers for the Penguin Great Ideas series.  My favorite is the English Renaissance meets SF cover for Thomas More’s Utopia.

  • Peter Mendelsund is probably most famous for designing the covers for Stieg Larsen’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, but has designed many other clever, attention grabbing covers.

  • Gray318, or Jon Gray, is familiar to most readers for the Jonathan Safran Foer covers Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Everything is Illuminated.

Post by Matthew

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This entry was posted on September 4, 2012 by in Lists, Reference, Website Review, Websites.
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