book cover

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Lorenza Pavesi's picture
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Joined: 12 Mar 2006 - 1:10pm
book cover
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Dear friends, my research (Mphil) has come to an end. It seems now that the writing of 200 pages was nothing compared to the difficulty of designing a decent cover. I’m a graduated graphic designer but I haven’t practiced for a long time. Can you please advise me? Here’s the spread. The image I choose is a drawing by the great Gordon Cullen (1950s) which is one of the architects I investigate. It shows a very cluttered “subtopian” landscape, the problem is that there’s not much white space left for the information I have to provide (my name, title and possibly EESC USP Universidade de São Paulo). I chose this typeface because many of the texts I analyse in the research were typewritten...silly? thanks everyone.

James Michaels's picture
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Joined: 6 Mar 2010 - 12:54am
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There's not enough white space in the drawing to allow a headline to get the attention it needs. Your options are to make the illustration smaller and put the head outside of it, or to put the headline in a box (or other shape) the overlays part of the illustration.

What size is the cover, what is the binding method, and on which edge is it bound? Can you use color?

I probably wouldn't use the typewriter face. It looks dated and your report is an analysis, not an attempt to replicate a retro look.

Nick Shinn's picture
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Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
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I would cheat to get space at the top: reduce the size of the drawing and clone out the poles, wires and tarmac.
You might even consider removing the horizontal telephone wires (but not the TV aerial!)

The typewriter face would be OK, but it would have to be display size.

Lorenza Pavesi's picture
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Joined: 12 Mar 2006 - 1:10pm
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Hi Nick...I just saw your message. Hope you're well! I kind of found a solution. I still have to insert the university name so I'll do as you say and try to cheat. Thanks a lot.
Thanks James, you're right, no need to replicate the retro look but I was too tempted! Here in our school they're not too strict about academic norms for covers, since all information will be inside anyway. It's not a commercial issue, it's just the copy I have to submit for the final review.
Colour: definetely.

J. Tillman's picture
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Joined: 27 Sep 2009 - 11:31am
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I know little about academic book publishing, marketing or selling. Nor am I up-to date on architectural books. Nor do I know the target audience here. So what I say may not apply to this book. And now that I have seen the original poster's second message, it definitely doesn't apply to this book. But I'm going to post it anyway.

For books which will not be sold in bookstores, but rather on the internet including Amazon, the whole point of the book cover is to look good as a postage-stamp-and-a-half sized icon on Amazon or on any other website. Sadly,
the complicated and intricate book cover, which looks beautiful in the bookstore, is going away. For the Amazon-sized icon you need wide readable letters for the title and author's name, along with a simple graphic. This is the way we live now.

Re: the font on the cover, the author's perspective does not matter. What is the reader/customer's perspective here?