Getting ahead in book design

Why is mainstream, contemporary book cover design so formulaic and dull? Why are so many novels designed in such a generic way? Perhaps the design departments of publishing houses are just pressed for resources and time and that it is simply a case of slotting the latest cover into whatever design template is in vogue.

These covers, taken from a recent visit to Waterstones, (or as Wikipedia has it; formally Waterstone’s) show the tiresome trend of removing the head of the front cover figure. Why? What might once have been an interesting way to suggest, without actually showing, the main character of the book, has now been turned into a repetitive, everybody-does-it, stacked floor-to-ceiling, mass of decapitation.

Parallel to publishing, the music industry has also faced huge, digital-age, challenges over the last few years. Would you ever though, see such tiresome repetition with a random set of new release cds? Short answer; no. What you do get (most of the time) is fantastic creativity, a desire to try new things out and a need to push boundaries a little. A bit more of that please, publishing people!

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