One bit of advice that my tutor gave me with regard to the next assignment was to study plenty of book covers because I am required to use some of what I’ve learnt???? in this unit to produce one image to illustrate a book or magazine cover. As well as going through my own book shelves, I spent an afternoon in Waterstones to get an idea of what was out there, big mistake, it was really overwhelming as there are just so many variations. They seem to fall into two broadly categories and creative treatments; fiction books, it seems to me, try to portray, not necessarily the story in the book but the theme or genre, so a dreamy romantic novel, a crime thriller or a scary science fiction novel for example. The covers of non fiction books on the other hand are more likely to illustrate what you’re going to find inside, so a cookery book will often have a photo of one or more of the finished dishes and a travel book one of the places described in the book. From those I’ve studied, it would also seem that fiction books perhaps give more opportunity for the ultra creative, obviously fake style of design which you would struggle to be able to create with a single image. Is that wrong? I suppose if that’s what sells the books, no, as long as it doesn’t pretend to be something that it isn’t.
A lot of the non fiction book covers that I looked at appeared to be more straightforward in that the images look to be more genuine and often simpler, put together as a collage for example, or just one photograph illustrating the content. That is not to say that these images are not manipulated, I’m sure they are, but they are still recognisable as what you would expect to see. This is of course over simplification and a very limited study of book covers, many of the books I looked at showed very complex graphics on the cover or none at all, and research showed that there were countless books, magazines and website available on book illustration and that in itself was something that surprised me.