The Ignored Art of the Book Spine

After seeing the beautiful book covers in this post, it did make me feel a bit sad that digital media pushes us so strongly towards simple visual tiles rather than 3D representations of book covers. On the other hand, there’s never been a better time to judge books by factors other than their covers. Perhaps customer reviews are the new spines and that’s just the way it is.

Pixel & Pilcrow

So much attention is paid to the front of books that it’s easy to forget that the front cover is only a part, and perhaps not even the most important part, of a book cover. The back cover, the spine, and even the front and back cover flaps are important parts of the book cover experience.

I think there is a strong argument to be made that, at least historically, the spine is at least as important as the front cover. After all, books are kept on shelves, and spines are pretty much all you see when a book is sitting next to its fellow books on the shelf. When perusing books in the library or on your own bookshelf, the spine is all the book has to attract your attention and make you pull it out and look at its front cover.

It’s an interesting challenge to design for…

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