It’s World Book Day! For parents across the land, it’s the day when our little darlings toddle off to school in various hastily purchased costumes from the local supermarket (though other stockists are available). For some, it’s an opportunity to win the playground battle and WOW! friends with their wonderfully bespoke creations.
World Book Day, according to World Book Day (a registered charity), is: “A celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.”
The unsung heroes of books
The thing we’d like to focus on this World Book Day, is the incredibly talented designers who package books so successfully. Covers might well be the first bit of customer-facing marketing that potential readers will see. Without a striking cover that involves the careful selection, creation and use of great typography, layout, photography and/or illustration, a book may never get picked off the shelf.
Design also informs us of the genre and whether it’s the kind of book we’d like to read. Even if we don’t see the author’s name, we often recognise a book, or series, from its design.
In shops, books are displayed with their covers facing the reader, first tempting us to pick them up and then to invest our time reading them. Design is just as crucial for e-books, the covers draw our attention and influence our purchasing decisions – yeah, ok, along with the reviews etc .
If you’ve got a poorly designed book, with a poorly designed cover, well, you know where we’re going with this one! On the flip side, what does a brilliantly designed book cover do to ‘brand you’ when you’re seen reading it on the train in the morning? C’mon. We’ve all done it!
Let’s absolutely celebrate World Book Day. Let’s celebrate great stories and reading. Let’s celebrate books that guide, inform, educate and influence us, but let’s not forget the unsung heroes who work with the writers, the editors, the publishers, the illustrators, the photographers, etc., etc. to make books some of the most magnificent things that exist.