It seems trite to point out how many bad — no, horrible — covers have been unleashed upon an unsuspecting public since Gutenberg invented mechanical movable type 500 years ago.
Perhaps ironically, certainly unintentionally, bad covers do serve a good purpose: if it’s bad on the outside, watch out for what lurks behind the cover.
Craig Mod, a California/Japan-based writer, publisher, and designer has written a terrific essay on covers (called Hack the Cover), both for books and ebooks. Craig is a MacDowell Colony Writing fellow, a 2012 TechFellow, and was employed by Flipboard from October 2010 to January 2012, working mainly on the Flipboard for iPhone project. His writing has appeared in New Scientist, the New York Times, and the Codex Journal of Typography, among others.
While I don’t always find myself nodding at Craig’s taste (beauty is, as always, in the beholder’s eye), this is a lucid, thought-provoking discourse on covers — what they are and what they are not. Whether you’re an author, a designer, a publisher, or simply love books, this is well worth a careful read.
Craig’s original essay may be found at Craig’s blogsite.