Never judge a book by it's cover? "Impossible," I say! Book covers are one of my favorite things to judge. I LOooooVE a good cover. I shudder at the bad. I swoon over the beautiful: the fonts, the paper choices, the color pallets.
The other day I was in Target, browsing their book section on a whim (I'd gone in for makeup remover, sugar and a birthday gift for a friend of Kate's). After browsing through some titles, and then spending 45 minutes speed reading nearly an entire book (do you ever do that? read a book standing there in the aisle with your cart?) I happened on to a collection of classics with newly designed covers by Penguin Publishing. I literally gasped with excitement. Embroidered cover art! Aren't they beautiful?! and incredibly clever! I came home and did a little research. This series, called Penguin Threads, features the work of artist Jillian Tamaki. She sketched them in a traditional illustrative manner, then hand-stitched them using needle and thread. The final covers are sculpt embossed for a tactile, textured, and beautiful book design. They are beyond amazing. You should run to a bookstore right now and see them in person.
Now I'm thinking – wouldn't it be cool to embroider a book cover as wall art? You could create your own design of a favorite book or use an image from an existing cover. I'm definitely putting that on my list of things to do. I think I'd do "To Kill A Mockingbird" and then hang it in my office. I could even try to duplicate this cover:
I just love this cover. It's probably my favorite of all the versions for this book. I think I'll need to improve my embroidery skill A LOT to be able to attempt something like this, but someday . . .
Oh, one more note on covers: did you know that books usually have differently designed covers for the UK and US printings? They're sometimes similar, but often VERY different. I think it's interesting that people in different countries prefer a different look in cover design. I wonder why. Hmmm. I may have to see if I can find out more . . .