Books, Book Covers and Designers

Book Cover

“Don’t Judge a book by its cover” (A graphic Designer Just turned in their grave… hahaha)

I’d assume you must have heard that phrase a million times and a lot of those times it was used to educate you on how you shouldn’t judge something or an individual by its looks and outward appearance. Well, even though quite a number of times the ideology of the phrase is right, I consider this a spit in the face of designers and human behavior scientists who have devoted their lives to the art of understanding the and designing the perfect “book cover”.


I promise this article was totally unplanned as I have another article lined up I’d been working on in, however, as I was just laying on my bed this morning I began to debate within myself and luckily, PHCN decided to supply power, I took that as a the universe giving me a go-ahead and here we are, an article dissecting books and book covers.


Back to topic, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” like I said is a tricky area because I believe quite strongly it means that there is usually more to an object or individual than is usually presented by outward appearance, however while this can be true, does it invalidate the need for books to have covers, I mean, the whole point book have covers is to be judged. Let’s take a real life illustration for instance.


It’s 11pm at night and you’re on your way back from work, famished and exhausted you wait alone at the bus stop. Even though you’ve heard stories of how terrible the locale could be at night, you wait anyways. After all, it’s just going to be a few minutes till your ride arrives, at least that’s what the ride-hailing app says.


As your mind reminisces on the happenings of the day, you suddenly notice a figure a couple of meters away, huge, clothed in all black and heading towards your direction, the individual seems to be holding something in hand, it’s long and it looks like a rod. You can’t really tell. But as it draws closer. Your mind begins to play out all sort of scenarios.


Quickly you start to move ahead. But this figure seems to be heading towards you, you increased your pace, but so did the figure, at this point you begin to jog. You get into an averagely lit environment, and you discover it’s the security guard at your place of work, dressed in his usual uniform of black on black. You had forgotten your umbrella at work and he was trying to bring it to you.


There it goes, you just did the most human thing ever! You judged a book by its cover. In a world where everything is happening so fast, you have only a few seconds, minutes if you’re lucky to form an opinion about something and make decision, I would make an argument that your “cover” is as important as the content of the book and you should make a conscious decision to make it visually appealing.


And you know who could really help with that? A well versed designer 😉


Oh! And Happy New Year.
Oyeniyi Kenneth O.

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