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Designing Tolkien's Beowulf book
Thain
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HarperCollins has shared some of the though process that went behind the design of the dustjacket for Beowulf - I found it interesting!

http://harpercollins-design.tumblr.co ... g-beowulf-by-ben-gardiner

It’s a balancing act designing a cover to illustrate J.R.R. Tolkien’s literary texts; simultaneously giving his fantastical works a stand out and distinctive look, whilst also paying respect to the genre and decades of publishing that have gone before.

Posted on: 6/10 16:44:35
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Re: Designing Tolkien's Beowulf book
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It is a nice cover, but it is a pity that "matching the style of the previous two releases" didn't rate highly on anyone's agenda. It would have been very easy to have produced a cover that stylistically matched FoA and S&G, without having to change any colours or art. Other than the Deluxe editions, HC does seem to struggle with consistent styling for more than a couple of books.

Posted on: 6/11 0:00:45


Re: Designing Tolkien's Beowulf book
Thain
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I get the feeling that consistency is not a high priority for any publisher, unless the new book is part of a multi-volume set.

I also think that the designer here is not the same person as on the others (just a hunch) and they of course want to show some individuality and contribution to the design.

Plus now when they come out with a matching style, people like us will be "forced" to collect that as well because they look so much nicer together on the shelf!

Posted on: 6/12 10:41:16
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Re: Designing Tolkien's Beowulf book
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Urulöké wrote:
I get the feeling that consistency is not a high priority for any publisher, unless the new book is part of a multi-volume set.

I also think that the designer here is not the same person as on the others (just a hunch) and they of course want to show some individuality and contribution to the design.

Plus now when they come out with a matching style, people like us will be "forced" to collect that as well because they look so much nicer together on the shelf!



Yeah, I know what you are saying. For me, all they needed to do was put "J.R.R. Tolkien" on the spine instead of "TOLKIEN" and it would have been a relatively good match to the previous two. It isn't like there was a massive amount of creative freedom for the designer here anyway - It really is drag-and-drop design. The fonts would pretty much have been dictated, as would the front illustration, so beyond the overall colour which was probably decided by a committee (), the layout of the spine is about the only thing that had much in the way of potential choice. And that's the only thing that I think lets it down!

As a software engineer that has worked on a couple of relatively giant projects, I'm obsessed by uniformity and consistency as that is what makes life easy for users (without having to continuously roll out extra training). Graphic designers are usually obsessed with "new" and "different", which is why every new release of every new major Operating System is a little bit more of a visual mess than the previous release (iOS and OSX being prime examples of this phenomenon).

That said, overall, I like the jacket :)

Posted on: 6/13 21:52:01

Edited by Stu on 2014/6/13 23:43:50






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