It’s University Press Week! To celebrate SU Press, and many other University Presses are participating in a University Press blog tour. As part of the tour, SU Press is focusing on the design side of publishing with an interview with one of our designers, Lynn Wilcox. Lynn shares her style, research and creative freedom. Some of Lynn’s book cover designs are featured above.
SU Press: What research do you do and how much do you learn about the book to draw inspiration for your design?
LW: I typically review the reader’s reports/marketing copy and look at other books of the same genre. We also get many catalogs from other Presses and publications that I often cut out and post on my wall for ideas.
SU Press: How much creative freedom do you have in designing covers for SU Press?
LW: It depends on the title. Sometimes the author has provided cover art and has specific ideas for the cover. With the many trade books, however, I have creative freedom.
SU Press: How would you describe your style of work?
LW: Plain and fancy. Well-balanced compositions with eye-catching visuals and clean typography.
SU Press: Do you have an all-time favorite book cover you have designed for the Press?
LW: The Sport of Kings and the Kings of Crime is my favorite. I love Currier and Ives prints. The cover has a beautiful painting done by Louis Maurer and published by Currier and Ives in 1889. The print is of a horse race and the typography is perfectly integrated and highlights the image.
SU Press: How would you compare a designer’s work for say, an advertisement versus a design for a book?
LW: I don’t think there is much difference. You have a split-second to get someone to choose and buy a product.
SU Press: Are there certain components of a book cover that make it stand out more from other books you might see in a bookstore?
LW: For me, the cover image makes the cover. Also, books that are well-crafted – the binding, paper, printed with metallics, spot varnishes, embossing, etc.
SU Press: Is there a certain trend of book designs you’re seeing more and more of?
LW: There are a few but my favorite are the covers with bold, clever graphics and typography. Designs with bright and unusual color combinations are getting my attention now.
A special thanks to Lynn for talking to us!
Don’t forget to check out the other #UPWeek blog tour posts who also highlight design:
Northwestern University Press
Princeton University Press
Georgetown University Press
Harvard University Press
Yale University Press