Shanah over at Bionic Book Worm has picked some challenging March topics starting with this one.
We all focus on book covers because when it comes to marketing a book that is the element that tells you a) the book title and author name and b) gives you an idea as to what the book is about.
(Of course there’s the old adage of ‘never judge a book by its cover’ but we all do it).
Book spines don’t tend to get a lot of focus and it’s not something that marketers or bookbloggers/ vloggers tend to spend a lot of time talking about. That strikes me as strange because the spines are what we see first when books are on shelves or in the uber TBR pile that is piling up by the side of your bed.
However it seems that designers worth their salt know that when you design a book you need to make sure the spine is as compelling to the eye as the cover is.
I am the worst at visual creativity but even I can appreciate how pretty and eye catching spine designs are and I have now seen enough photos of bookcases arranged by colour and/or design to know that book spines play a part in the overall aesthetic.
This is a challenging topic for me because, and I’ll say it again, I am the worst at visual creativity.
I have wandered off to the usual place I wander off to when asked to think of Top 5 visual things relating to books.
Yes, I went looking at The Folio Society website in order to compile my wish-list of delicious looking book spines that I would be pleased to see on my shelves.
Disclaimer – I don’t own these books so can’t take a picture of the spine so I’ve taken pictures from the website. They predominantly feature the cover but we’re all about the
Oh the opulence!
Guess how much this costs??? Guess! Guess!!!
Don’t worry I’ll tell you.
I will never own this set of books.
In a previous life I must have been a magpie because I am a sucker for anything shiny and gold is shiny. How beautiful would this be on your shelves? I think I’d cry every time I looked at it.
Probably because it would have cost me £585.
Gold and black and cool typography?
Let me hand this over to someone more succinct.
Yes, I know. Still gold. There’s a theme. But at least this time there’s colour and what bold colour too!
If a book is called The Red Fairy Book then you better have a red cover. Taking a peek at the books I own I don’t think anything is red. This will most definitely catch the eye of a shelf browser.
I don’t actually like the front cover but I adore the spine with the flowers and the bee.
Obviously the shiny appeals but what is more appealing is the gentle simplicity of these spines in comparison to the busyness of the previous ones. There’s often something understated about being simple.
This one is a bit of a departure from the rest in that there is not shiny and no opulence.
The spine is simple and could even be considered plain in comparison to the rest but I think its quite pretty and I love the image of the fern. As this is a natural sciences book the designers have kept this clean and to the point but also captured a sense of beauty.
My wish list is done. I always go The Folio Society website because their books are often things of beauty that you would only ever touch with your eyes.
During the writing of this post I have come to the sad realisation that I am this guy…