DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Aug 20 2008

Jacket Art – Past and Present

by Ginny C

I’ll spare you the oft repeated phrase about book covers and judging them and how you’re not supposed to do it. And I won’t ask if you have ever decided whether or not to read a book based on the book cover. I suspect I know the answer. At the risk of being labeled a bad librarian, I will tell you that I have judged books based solely on their jacket art. But it was a long, long time ago, and I don’t do it anymore. Mostly.

Publishers realize that people judge books by the cover and some of the harshest critics are teens and tweens. Cover art has changed dramatically in the last couple of decades. Where once book jackets consisted of soft-focus, pastel paintings of characters (often looking pensive to signify the seriousness of the topic and/or the decision the character must make), now they mostly contain computer generated art in graphic designs and colors.

When books are re-issued, they are often given new, modern cover art. Publishers do away with the old-fashioned artwork in favor of something that they hope will appeal to a new generation of readers. Take a look at the book covers I’ve posted below. Can you tell which ones were published recently? Based on these covers, are there any that you’d like to read? Or ones that you would not read?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Nolan August 26, 2008 at 9:08 AM

I remember reading “The Cat Ate My Gymsuit” and it totally looked like that. Probably “Deenie” did too, because even at the time it seemed dated to me!

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