Skip to main content

Judge a book by its cover

By August 3, 2020September 30th, 2020No Comments

As you might expect from a novelist, I’m keenly interested in book cover design. Not least because the success or failure of a book cover has a direct impact on visibility in bookstores and online, and therefore on sales. They’re a visual shorthand to describle the essence of a book. But all too often, book covers descend into cliche. Pretty pink covers for ‘chick-lit’, bleak landscapes for thrillers, blood-spattered floors for crime, and so on.

But every once in a while, something stands out, that sums up a book perfectly in a simple image. This is the first of an occasional series of posts here, to highlight outstanding covers. Orwell’s ‘1984’ gives us a relentlessly grim portrait of a world where truth is relative or subordinate to power. This cover, where the title and author have been ‘redacted’ is a perfect example of that world in a nutshell. And using the layout and colour of early Penguin paperbacks reminds us of when Orwell wrote his dystopian masterpiece.