You know what would be an awesome bookish career? I think it would be pretty cool to be a book designer. I was curious to find out how one becomes a book designer and what the work is like. I enjoyed this article on Literally, Darling.com that interviewed Penguin Random House book designer Daniela Medina. She points out that it’s important to have a love of books and that understanding and being able to analyze literature is a useful skill too, as “It’s one thing to design a beautiful cover – which is difficult enough in itself – and it’s another to design a beautiful book cover that does real justice to the words inside.” Another interesting thing I learned is that a book designer is often working on multiple projects at once and they are always in different stages, so there is a lot of organization and project management going on. Jack Noel from Walker Books mentions this too in a post on The Reading Agency. He notes, “With many long-running simultaneous projects you need to be on top of it all, alongside dealing with artists, their agents and production costs.” His advice for young people who are interested in becoming designers themselves is to “Do what you can to learn the computer programs (InDesign and Photoshop, mainly) and create a portfolio – fill it with whatever you want – redesigned book covers, logos for friends, posters for bands that don’t exist. To be a designer you need a little bit of skill and a lot of enthusiasm and a portfolio of self-initiated projects is a good way to show both.” While it would be awesome to see your work come to life as an actual book, it would be tough to be creative all the time, continuously coming up with fresh concepts. This makes me appreciate all the work that goes into each cover.
Don’t you love looking at the covers of books? I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but let’s be real. Don’t you gravitate to the books that catch your eye on the shelf? It’s really too bad that you can only see the spines on a library shelf. They look so much more appealing when you see the full cover. Here are some 2015 and 2016 YA releases that have interesting and beautiful covers. I would definitely pick these books up to see what they’re about.
How about you – which books are you intrigued by? Would you want to be a book designer?