Picture
Album cover art

About the cover art

4.2.2020 10:52
Does the ratio of the book's cover image and content matter?

Tomorrow, Wednesday 5.2. In Kulttuuritalo Virra, there is a cultural cafe event organized by the library at 13.30:XNUMX p.m. The program includes book recommendations and a book review, as well as a music school student concert. In the Cover Council, we review book covers and discuss the relationship between image and content.

Many people say that the cover of a book doesn't matter. It's not like looking at a book cover, many cakes are beautiful on the outside. Does the cover matter? I asked Kimmo Heikkilä, who is a graphic designer.

"For me is. As a visual designer, I pay too much attention to the appearance of books."

Heikkilä thinks about a situation where he chooses between two biography-type books.

"The second book has a stylish picture of the main character, well-chosen fonts, the layout of text and picture is harmonious. Graphic elements create interest in the content. The cover of the second book looks like the author himself or his cousin scribbled in Word. There are seven types of fonts, the image is unclear and pixelated. The picture and the texts are separate from each other, because in Word it is not possible to combine them. I will definitely choose the first option."

Despite his profession, Heikkiläk also puts content first.

"The content is decisive. If the latter book is about a person I'm interested in and the first is completely indifferent to me, a bad cover won't stop you from reading. However, good graphic design also promises the quality of the content."

Heikkilä has designed covers for audio discs more than books.

"In audio discs, covers play a more important role than in books. Album covers create an image of the music. Their design is a balancing act between my own preferences, the sometimes well-established ways of visualizing the music style, and the wishes of the customer. The most enjoyable part of designing album covers is when I can confuse those established habits. The customer's clear vision also facilitates planning."

Many times, the library visitor knows in advance what they are going to get, so the deck doesn't matter. The importance of the cover is highlighted in the display and return shelves, from which customers make quick quotes.

"Even though the appeal does not have an effect on the loan decision per se, it is not that insignificant. Bad is bad and good is good," says active borrower Tarja Nieminen from Tampere.

Publishing self-published books is easy in the digital age, and you can see a wide variety of cover solutions for them. Rarely stylish. I hate to say it, but as a librarian who maintains the collection for the adult department, I'm tired of them. Each procurement list has tens, hundreds of self-publishers, whose appearance is unbelievable. However, all of them have to be looked at, because we want in our collections at least self-published items made by the people of Imatra or clearly related to Imatra. I would be satisfied if all the writers from Imatra would deliver their own publications to the library, otherwise we might not even get them.

Of course, self-publishing also has exceptions, as the best example I can think of Hannu Narsaka's wonderful non-fiction book "Fire storm in Kollaa : Rautjärven miët talivsodassa". It's one of the finest self-published books I've seen, both in terms of cover and content. The author said that he published the work himself, because the publishers did not agree to publish the book in the form he wanted due to the high costs. In addition to successful content, Jukka Tavi's collection of aphorisms "Sanat hallu, maila hukassa" also has a stylish look.

What is the significance of the relationship between the cover image and the content? Everyone can think about that now, and come tomorrow to discuss the topic at cafe Virtaa at 13.30:XNUMX p.m.

mika. kahkonenatimatra.fi
Tel: 020 617 6602