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.

Channel View Team at London Book Fair 2017

Last month Sarah and Flo popped down to London for the day for the London Book Fair at Olympia. It’s always a good chance to meet and catch up with all our publishing contacts in one place and we see everyone from reps and ebook providers to distributors and designers.

Flo at London Book Fair 2017

After a pretty civilised 11am arrival, we had a bit of time to wander around and acclimatise to the hustle and bustle before meeting our UK distributor, NBNi. After a quick catch-up with Juliette Teague and Matt Devereux, there was time to grab some lunch before our meeting with Kelvin van Hasselt, our rep for Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean.

Covers designed by Latte Goldstein at riverdesign

After our appointment with Kelvin, we were due to meet our new book cover designer, Latte Goldstein from riverdesign. After some confusion and a couple of incidents of walking past each other (it’s surprisingly difficult to get a proper look at people’s name badges!), we eventually managed to meet up and had a useful discussion about the current projects he’s working on for us. We now have two books in the pipeline whose covers have been designed by Latte, International Student Engagement in Higher Education by Margaret Kettle and Early Language Learning edited by Janet Enever and Eva Lindgren.

In the afternoon Flo went off to explore while Sarah had a meeting with Darren Ryan, the CEO of one of our suppliers for copy-editing and typesetting, Deanta Global. Darren was showcasing DeantaSource, their web-based project management portal, where authors can login and make corrections to the proof file. Another meeting followed with James Powell of ProQuest, one of the library ebook aggregators we distribute ebooks to. James was very happy that our ebooks are often distributed before the print book is available.

We then came back together for a meeting with Andrea Jacobs from our US distributor, NBN. It was nice to be able to put a face to a name you email on a regular basis and we had a good chat about our experience of moving over to a new distributor.

Our dedicated and diligent Production Manager

With all our meetings over, we went to the IPG drinks reception where we fought our way through the crowds to the stand of our database provider, Stison, to have a quick catch-up with them and take advantage of a great photo opportunity (see right!). When the drinks had run out, there was just time for dinner with one of our printers, CPI, before we caught the train back to Bristol. We look forward to seeing everyone again at London Book Fair 2018!