Good design—and not just good book design—stems from mastering the basics. Once those basics are mastered, a good design is achieved when the designer goes beyond those parameters yet effectively combines them all. Puja Khurana illustrated five core layout design principles as book covers, which are the basis of most designs.
The New York Times published a list online of the best covers of 2015. Unlike fantasy and scifi covers, which I’ll talk about next, these book covers have a strong connection between the graphic and the typography. Creating a design that flawlessly intertwines images and typography, and that ultimately relays the designer’s message through design, is what good design is about. I’ve found that designs like this bring something new and very cool to the table. They make you stop and say, “whoa.”
“When considering the book as a whole, I prefer that the interiors contain answers and the covers ask questions.”
Fantasy Book Covers
I read a lot of fantasy novels and that has influenced me in many ways. Good fantasy covers pair an artist’s style with the book’s story. For these types of covers there’s definitely a bigger consideration for the artwork over other layout principles. The artwork brings the story to life. You can find some excellent examples of fantasy and scifi book covers at Tor.com.
Ultimately, good design stops you and makes you pick up the book.
What Inspires Me?
I love clean and colourful designs. I guess a lot of the designs that draw my eye can be categorized as girly with their pastel and pink colours, floral patterns, and cursive fonts. Rifle Paper Co. has great printed designs and their patterns and illustrations are cute and fun.
Print products are my weakness so a lot of my inspiration comes from that medium. However, inspiration comes from many channels. On instagram I follow bakeries and food blogs. Places like Sweet Philosophy, who combine delicious food and creative design, can also inspire ideas for colour palettes, design layouts, and even packaging.
Video games can also be another avenue for creative brainstorming. Ori and the Blind Forest has amazing visuals.
I like order and clarity in design. I appreciate design that’s complex and busy, but it’s just not something I enjoy in my designs. Good design is when every piece of it falls into place and creates a seamless whole image, it creates something new and interesting and wonderful.
If you want to see more of what inspires me, check out my board on Pinterest.