How to Design a Book Cover

Friday December 27, 2019 Written by Smith

You’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but Peter Mendelsund’s are so good we can’t help it.

In his relatively short career as a professional book cover designer (he was a full time concert pianist just 12 years ago) Mendelsund has created a whopping 600 covers for everyone from Martin Amis to Franz Kafka and the New Yorker.

Besides his phenomenal technical abilities, Mendelsund’s greatest skill is his capacity to distil an author’s often sprawling vision down to a single, easy-to-understand graphic. To do this he first has to consider what happens in our mind’s eye when we read – an exercise in abstraction.

He shows us exactly how it’s done in this online course on Skillshare. (A monthly subscription costs just $9.95, which will get you access to Mendelsund’s 66-minute class, along with hundreds of others.)