Thursday, October 15, 2009


My first entry on notable women book cover designers. All of these designers are certainly not new, but worth mentioning again. I'm pleased to see that when choosing these covers, none of them are what could be labeled as overtly "feminine." Ironically, a few of these standout designs (sourced from design:related) are unused comps. A nice addition to this site...

First up, Alison Forner, who works with the mighty talented Allison Saltzman at Ecco. I've been really impressed with Alison's work. This one stood out to me for the combo of hand drawn elements and beautiful typography. The scale of the type is really effective and the "celebrating" copy is deftly handled (no burst here...). An unused comp...too bad for all of us.

Jen Wang has received a lot of attention for her illustrative Penguin covers which can be found at her design:related portfolio. What I like best about this cover is what it doesn't have...a photo. Besides, who doesn't love a type only cover? The type is the image and that's enough.

Having worked on quite a few university press titles, I can tell you it's tough going sometimes. So often you're faced with an obscure subject matter. This cover by Natalie Smith is a beauty. A smart, unexpected solution and elegantly handled. Plus, the use of color is wonderful and truly evocative of place.

I love black and white covers and essentially this is one. Designed by Jaya Miceli, this unused comp pairs an organic line drawing with stark typography--a beautiful contrast. To reinforce the variety of Jaya's work, check out the final printed cover she designed.

The simple line drawing of an envelope brings this unused comp by Jennifer Heuer to a whole new level. I love how the overlaying lines contrast & ultimately balance the retro type styling. A very smart solution to a book of letters, sidestepping the all too familiar use of an actual envelope.

These are just a few of many talented designers. I'll continue to post a monthly feature and will have other posts on Noted work. Oh, and go hire all of them quick.


H3NR7 said...

What a great and generous post Kimberly.
They are all such wonderful and notable designers!

Christopher Tobias said...

beautiful examples. thanks for sharing.

Dan said...

I'm really excited about "Noted" and what a way to start! Great stuff.

Anne said...

nice post, thanks for sharing it!

Ian Shimkoviak said...

Beautiful work. Keep em coming. All of these covers serve to show that book design is well and alive more than ever with stellar contributions from both men and woman working hard to solve the very open riddle of book design.

There is no such thing as a perfect cover. The process, all those involved, the content—all of this leaves a very open ended dialog the designer must engage in till the final piece is printed and let loose on the market.

People devour books. they adore them. As objects and for their symbolic and social meaning and place in society.

It is exciting to see so many people collectively enjoying this fine art and caring for it. making sure that if, and when, it dies, it will not go down without a memorable impact. At least in this last century.

While printing developments and the internet have dramatically changed and perhaps cheapened the state of the book and what it means to be a real author, it is refreshing to see that literature worth reading is not getting the silent treatment from the visual standpoint.

so bravo to these and many more wonderful female designers.

I have always said that in general i feel that the woman's touch in art and specifically design—which is to interact with end consumer, is very refined and attentive in a way that men find difficult. This may be a generalization, but worth a discussion perhaps.

Thanks Kimberly.

elizabeth avedon said...

I'm partial to Jen Wang's powerful all type cover. It's perfect.
Great choices all.

Catherine said...

Love that you posted Jen Heuer's work! She's really someone to keep an eye on— a smart and thoughtful designer.

toki said...

I can't stop looking at Jennifer's cover. What a beauty! Thanks for posting Kimberly ~T