Sunday, September 25, 2016

There Are Only So Many Covers Possible, I Guess

Or that would be the obvious conclusion for anyone browsing bookstores these days. I've already noted one repeated design trope on fantasy covers, but yesterday I saw two others on mainstream fiction while wandering the aisles at Common Good Books. Come to think of it, it's not so much as two tropes as two variants on a format.

First there's big type with the linespacing fairly wide, and little dectorative doo-dads partially obscuring the the letters:

The designs most often use type that could be 19th century wood type, as on the right-hand cover (though even the type on the left-hand cover could be a sans serif wood type). There were at least a dozen other books within about 10 feet in the store that fit into this category.

Then there's the subset where the title and author name aren't quite so big or spaced out, the type is more of a plain geometric sans serif, and the doo-dads are smaller:

Really, did they pay two different designers to create these covers? Why not just pay the first person who did it and then replace the type?

1 comment:

Michael Leddy said...

The background's different, but a forthcoming book of Stefan Zweig's essays, Messages from a Lost World, is pretty similar.

The only fad in book covers I've liked is black and red type on white or off-white. It makes me want to read.