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Inside Random House: "The Art of Cover Design"

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One of the most exciting aspects of any book's publication is the design of its cover. Though many voices participate in this creative process, it's the designer's expertise that is most critical in making a compelling, eye-catching, and meaningful visual representation of the author's work to entice readers. In this video, we interviewed a few Random House designers to find out how they approach new projects; the many places where they find inspiration; and hear some fascinating stories behind a few memorable covers...Tune in!
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Text Comments (28)
Beth Heinecamp (1 month ago)
I guess I'm getting old, but I really miss certain design styles from the 50's - 70's. Back then, covers were often illustrations, brilliantly drawn/painted by super talented men and women, which I remember to this day. Now, you see such slickness, perfection, Photoshop is almighty, but it's not my cup of tea. The digital revolution has changed everything, I guess.
Cory Brandt (3 months ago)
Very creative using your daughter's hair.
lovetownsend (3 months ago)
One of the album covers for the black metal band Mayhem is a picture of their singer after he committed suicide with a shotgun. How provoking is that!
Sixth Sanctum Media (6 months ago)
All these covers shown are utterly boring. Like, are they kidding? Those designs are pathetic. No wonder book sales are down so much.
Tao Yu (6 months ago)
u could pay someone to do it http://www.konker.io/services/10507?affid=7c7332&promo_id=149
Bad Alibi (8 months ago)
Bunch of pretentious bollocks
W B (10 months ago)
Why stop at the book cover though? The inside of the book offers lots of possibilities with visual expression such as typography, colors, alignment, even the paper type and size of the book can bring out the message or the vision of the book into tangible visually interesting results. People do pick up books for the covers at first, but they take them home for mostly what's inside them. Not to undermine the amazing work of those designers, but as an avid reader and a graphic designer I find nothing sadder than a book with a beautifully designed cover but with little to no visual treatment on the inside pages (also poor content but that's the writer's fault)
Nur Amin (1 year ago)
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Lizzy Chrome (1 year ago)
Just personally, I strongly prefer the flat, minimalist/icon-based/child fantasy illustration covers to the crowded photoshopped ones or the ones with text over photos. Just my personal two cents. But thanks for this video!
Oh!sama (1 year ago)
Every design they showed was great because they all made me curious about what the book was about. They asked more questions than they answered if you get me. The concept seems similar to flag design where you want to have a reason for everything you're putting there, to convey as much meaning with as few components as possible. I do find it interesting that the author has so little control. Whenever I imagined writing a book, I usually imagined I would have control over the cover, where it was sold and pricing as well.
Coffee Criminal (1 year ago)
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Adele Celeste TV (1 year ago)
Very helpful! Indie authors can always use more advice and inspiration on cover design.
George Garrigues (2 years ago)
Fascinating look at the world of professional designers who, I suppose, are on a payroll and earn a good wage. Not too much for us to learn here, except, if we are artists, that this would be a fun and deeply fascinating place to work. Probably in New York, if that's your thing.
Porschen Hund (2 years ago)
Buying a book for its cover. Ironically, even books looks more superficial than they used to be.
Chandra Bandula (2 years ago)
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fabeena shanavas (3 years ago)
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Don B (4 years ago)
Obviously "American Grown" by Michelle Obama had a ghost writer, much like the ghosts, or were those garden gnomes, who planted her garden with already fully grown vegetables. Was this sold under FICTION?
Jeff M (4 years ago)
The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know about the book business. This video shows how I got jobbed by the first company who made my book and what a cheap design they did. Thank you for sharing how the real pros work.
Sef Estillore (4 years ago)
This video is enlightening at best. It has always seemed intriguing to me the history and process that book cover designs underwent before hitting the shelves.
Book Nerd Canada (4 years ago)
Love this!
Samuel Blondahl (4 years ago)
As an author with a formal education in art and design, I do my own covers. I am curious if that is frowned upon by larger publishing houses, or seen as a benefit. look for me on goodreads :)
John Caruso (1 year ago)
It's Only a benefit if it works. I've come across authors who think they're designers but don't have a clue ... and don't even get me started on typography.
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