ATG Book of the Week: The Look of the Book

by | Feb 2, 2021 | 0 comments

Title: The Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, and Art at the Edges of Literature
Authors: Peter Mendelsund and David J. Alworth
Hardcover: ISBN 9780399581021, $50
Imprint: New York: Penguin Random House, 2020

Why do some book covers instantly grab your attention, while others never get a second glance? Fusing word and image, as well as design thinking and literary criticism, this captivating investigation goes behind the scenes of the cover design process to answer this question and more.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

As the outward face of the text, the book cover makes an all-important first impression. The Look of the Book examines art at the edges of literature through notable covers and the stories behind them, galleries of the many different jackets of bestselling books, an overview of book cover trends throughout history, and insights from dozens of literary and design luminaries. Co-authored by celebrated designer and creative director Peter Mendelsund and scholar David Alworth, this fascinating collaboration, featuring hundreds of covers, challenges our notions of what a book cover can and should be…”

Praise for The Look of the Book:

“A book about books that deserves a spot in every bibliophile’s collection.”—Kirkus Reviews

Named one of NPR’s Best Books of 2020

Named one of Barnes and Noble’s Best Books of 2020

“The book is a welcome reminder of what a rich canvas book covers offer to designers, and how influential a role they can play in establishing a relationship between title and reader.” —Creative Review

“Books about graphic design tend to stay on the surface, but this book dives deep, illustrating the dialogue between design and writing, and proving that book covers will always carry more cultural nuance than first meets the eye.” —Bookforum

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