The Guardian has a new feature by designers Jon Gray and Jamie Keenan in which they discuss the 20 irrefutable theories of book cover design. It’s a big tongue-in-cheek, but it does have some useful tips about how to create an attention-grabbing cover.
The feature covers various ideas, such as ringfence theory and encapsulation theory, that refer to some of the ways in which human eyes and brains interpret images. Some of the concepts might seem a little obvious, but it’s easy to forget about the obvious points and end up with a cover that’s too complicated. As Playing For Keeps author R.L. Mathewson told Indie Bookspot in a recent interview, an improved cover can really boost sales.
Then again, if all these theories seem a bit too much, there’s another theory that isn’t covered in the article: copying. We’ve all seen how the iconic cover design of the Fifty Shades… series has been copied by numerous other erotic titles recently. Sometimes it’s best just to go for something familiar.