Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What Makes a Good Children's Book Cover

While Not Just a Princess is my first solo work, I've designed a lot of books over the years. So I know there are many little details that go into making a children's book cover visually appealing. There are really only three major ones though.

• Big Title
It needs to be readable while walking by, shrunk on a website, shrunk in a catalog, shrunk in advertising. Other things to consider is the type treatment. Unless the title is huge, thick fonts work great for kids covers. Getting a title hand drawn or more of a logo, can help the brand.

• Character
Show the main character or characters of the book in a way that explains at a glance what the book is about. Make it obvious. Charlotte's web shows the girl with her pig, Cat in the Hat shows literally a cat in a hat, Brown Bear, Brown Bear shows a big brown bear. Don't show every character that is in the book as it will be too much to communicate in a small amount of time. If you're book is even noticed among the thousands, you only have about 8 seconds for someone to understand the gist of your book.

• Color
There are fun colors, creepy colors, girly colors, sporty color etc. Pick the ones that are appropriate for your content. Be consistent. Using the same color palette throughout the book and with other books in a series will help people to identify your work. I can tell from across the room by the color of a book if it's a Curious George book.

This isn't a comprehensive list but if these three are solid, you've got a good start.

Mary Lee

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