Saturday, April 11, 2015

How to Make a Book Look Like Something Teens Wouldn't Want to Read

I don't pay much attention to young adult book covers these days. I know what I like (such as the covers of Rainbow Rowell's books), and on average, my sense is that covers are more engaging than they used to be, with a higher average level of aesthetics.

These are a few recent covers discussed on a blog about 2015 covers:

Clearly, there are a lot of hand-drawn letters, bright colors, and strong graphic shapes. This is just a small sample, and they don't all have these elements, but I think we can agree they don't look anything like this cover from a new Avi book that I saw yesterday on the shelf at Common Good Books in St. Paul:

The art style could maybe be okay for a contemporary cover, but the white Brush Script type and the heavy sans serif with its dark to light orange gradation both scream their allegiance to another decade, or maybe a designer who's not paying attention. Is it supposed to look retro? If so, is it an era that appeals to young people? I don't think so.

I know I am over-sensitive to type, but I think you don't have to know the names of the fonts to realize this type is completely wrong on a cover meant for young people.

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