Centered text, graphic, author name: book jacket design

Is there a stencil for non-fiction book jacket design? I’ve noticed a trend.

Center the title of the book, add a small image or graphic to represent the topic or context of the book, add a subtitle and then the author(s) name(s).

For as much thought and research goes into the content of the book, you would think the author and publisher would want a more original jacket design.

Here are some examples:

It isn’t a widespread problem, but it is one that I’ve noticed just off hand by browsing Borders/Barnes and Noble and watching author interviews on television.

I hope it doesn’t become as prevalent as the long-winded subtitle that every politician, ex-politician and media pundit thinks they need after the title of their book.

For example:

Title: Character Is Destiny
Subtitle: Inspiring Stories Every Young Person Should Know and Every Adult Should Remember
Author: John McCain (R) Arizona
Total words in subtitle: 12

Title: What a Party!
Subtitle: My Life Among Democrats: Presidents, Candidates, Donors, Activists, Alligators and Other Wild Animals
Author: Terry McAuliffe
Total words in subtitle: 13

Title: Anatomy of Deceit
Subtitle: How the Bush Administration Used the Media to Sell the Iraq War and Out a Spy
Author: Marcy Wheeler
Total words in subtitle: 16

Title: A Match Made in Heaven
Subtitle: American Jews, Christian Zionists, and One Man’s Exploration of the Weird and Wonderful Judeo-Evangelical Alliance
Author: Zev Chafets
Total words in subtitle: 16

Title: What Every American Should Know About Europe
Subtitle: The Hot Spots, Hotshots, Political Muck-ups, Cross-Border Sniping, and Cultural Chaos of Our Transatlantic Cousins
Author: Melissa Rossi
Total words in subtitle: 17

With this last one they might as well just print a HUGE executive summary on the cover so I don’t have to buy the book and read it.

Title: Arrest-Proof Yourself
Subtitle: An Ex-Cop Reveals How Easy It Is for Anyone to Get Arrested, How Even a Single Arrest Could Ruin Your Life, and What to Do If the Police Get in Your Face
Authors: Dale C. Carson, Wes Denham
Total words in subtitle: 33

I know this isn’t ground-breaking. It’s not like I’m making a huge statement, I’m just pointing out the consistencies and the similarities that I’ve seen in political books and their titles and non-fiction books based on theories and ideas and their book jacket design similarities.


3 responses to “Centered text, graphic, author name: book jacket design

  1. Think of it as book design 2.0, Book 2.0 for short.

    The rambling-thinking that came to the mind of a long-winded professor while he waited for his photography students to write up their weekly critiques.

    Could be a best seller.

  2. This is a very nice observation, nice going on this one.

  3. Pingback: It’s still happening. « digital paper

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