I’ve been reading a lot lately. I mean a lot. It’s getting to the point where I need to budget for the paper backs. Every time I walk into a book store I’m excited to begin my journey with another author(s). I love the physical sensation of books. I enjoy turning the pages, folding dog ears, cracking the spine, and the scent of new stock.
The more books I’ve purchased, the more I’m starting to recognize the branding of the authors through their cover art. Now, I’m not referring to sagas or series, like Harry Potter or Game of Thrones, because those books have visual consistency. What I mean is that authors (or maybe their publishers or marketing team) have started to develop an aesthetic consistency to their book covers that reflects the author’s genre(s).
For example, Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked: Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West and Confessions of an Ugly Step Sister, book covers are beautifully designed to reflect the whimsy yet dark undertones of the stories. Using a wonky, inconsistent typeface (though not identical on all his books) it forecasts the unusual direction of the storyline and the images and typography are strategically used to frame the main character of the novel. Though not every cover is an exact replica of one another, the aesthetic and tone are so inherently Gregory Maguire that any subsequent novels with that design will automatically be thought of as a Maguire story. This natural recognition through design plays such an important role for brand development.
Developing an author’s brand through consistent cover designs is a thought-provoking way to connect to their readers; not only through storytelling but also through design. Now Maguire isn’t the first nor the last author that has developed brand consistency through this type of medium, authors such as Jojo Moyes (see below) and Neil Pasricha are following in his foot steps. As these authors become household names it will be interesting to see how they further engage their readers.
P.S. Free Idea! Cost you nothing, but I don’t mind being foot noted once in a while… For digital platforms such as Kindle and iPads, can you somehow incorporate a gif once in a while? For example, in the Harry Potter world, the images in the newspaper moves (similar to a gif), we should do that! I know the size might be too large and other technical jargon, but we can! Yes, we can!