Judging a Book by its Cover…

We’ve been working with book cover designers Latte and Melanie Goldstein at River Design for over a year now, and we thought our readers might like to find out a little more from them about the book design process. In this post Latte answers some questions about book design and gives us an insight into his work.

Latte and Melanie Goldstein

How did you get into book cover design?

When I started up my own graphic design studio in Edinburgh, I was commissioned by a few local publishers to design some book covers and it really just grew from there. I now pretty much solely concentrate on book cover design work.

What kinds of books do you design covers for?

Some of the covers Latte and Melanie have designed for us

I design mainly academic and educational non-fiction book covers for subjects including history, politics, film, literature, philosophy, social science and business.

What does the design process entail?

The design process starts with the client’s brief. This usually provides information such as dimensions, format (eg. paperback, jacket, printed paper case) and information about the content of the book. The image is variable – sometimes clients supply images, sometimes we are asked to source them and sometimes a typographic cover is requested. The exciting bit is next! I usually work up a number of front cover roughs but then will select the 2 to 3 that I feel are the strongest. I use Photoshop but once I reach the stage of laying out the full cover, I transfer all the files to InDesign. I love designing and I love fonts so can quite happily spend hours experimenting with typography and creating artwork.

What’s the most challenging part of book design?

The most challenging part of book cover design is perhaps making sure that the tone of the cover design is right – appropriate for the book’s target market, conveying the correct message but at the same time visually dynamic. I do try to push the boundaries, but without getting carried away!

What’s your favourite aspect of the job?

Every book is different so every cover design is a unique challenge, requiring a completely new set of ideas and a new approach. This is what I enjoy the most…there’s nothing more exciting than getting stuck into a new brief!

If you want to see more of River Design’s work, check out their website and Instagram.

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