Book Covers and Editorial Design

I have enough poems for a couple of pamphlets that I will be issuing through the press next year. In the meantime I have been having tremendous fun taking up the idea put forward in the Writers’ and Artists’ Guide to Self Publishing of creating a Mood Board in Pinterest.

I’ve spent the last few days trawling through Pinterest and the rest of the web picking up examples of covers that I like and ideas that could be adapted.

Editorial Design

But as well as this I have come across an excellent course on Editorial Design on Domestika run by Enric Jardi. It is in Spanish but with subtitles and I found it extremely helpful to get an overview of the design and editorial process. His choices definitely chimed with what I want in designing a book cover, typefaces, kerning etc.

I really want the pamphlets and chapbooks I produce to look very distinctive; to have the feel of classic book cover design but also to have a contemporary look – retro modern – modern retro? This course has really opened my eyes to the whole process and I’ve already come up with a couple of covers that I’m extremely pleased with but I won’t be revealing them here just yet!

Book Design Site

Joel Friedlander‘s blog on various other aspects of self-publishing at his The Book Designer site is also extremely useful. He has a poetry template on there for sale that could be a good starting point. But, ultimately, I want a deeper understanding of the aesthetics behind the form and this definitely involves typography and typesetting in this phase of making books.


This whole enterprise has reignited my interest in typography and so two core resources (according to Reddit) are the books The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst and Butterick’s Practical Typography (which is purely online and not available as a print, PDF or ebook and he tells you why!).

Robert Bringhurst‘s book has also been been adapted to include Web Typography by Richard Rutter. Two other resources recommended were Thinking With Type by Ellen Lupton, Stop Stealing Sheep and find out how type works by Eric Spiekermann.

That should keep me busy for a bit.


The rest of the week has been spent working through Affinity Publisher tutorials on Menu Systems and adapting them to the ones in InDesign to become fluent in both programs.

All these are ongoing but the next stage of the design process will to be the logo – I’m going to have to think long and hard about that.

What an afterlife!