FaceOut Books Documents The Design of Book Covers
Yesterday I received a very nice e-mail from Charles Brock commenting on our post about the Book Cover Archive. Charles is principal and creative director at The DesignWork Group, and is administrator of FaceOut Books.
Charles Brock’s love of books and reading propelled him into the book cover design business over a decade ago, when The DesignWorks Group was founded in 1996. The studio specialises in – you guessed it – book cover design, and currently works with a broad base of CBA, ABA, AAUP, independent, and international publishing houses. Over the years their work has been recognised by numerous publications and associations.
Charles Brock explains their motivation to create the blog:
We are all passionate about book design and follow most of the book design blogs. They are very interesting, but after a period of time left us wanting more. The format of posting a cover and letting everyone comment can create interesting discussions, yet at the same time can be very limiting. We wanted an experience where we could learn from the designers themselves; have some insight into their creative process.
FaceOut evolved out of Jason Gabbert’s desire to interact with the design process. Gabbert would find interesting covers and e-mail them to all the designers in the studio with his comments.
We would comment back and forth about it. Jason eventually started posting these on Design:Related under Inspirations, which got some good feedback from designers outside of our studio. Contacting the designers who designed the covers was the next step in the evolution. We would print the covers and comments, and show them in our weekly creative meeting and discuss them even more. It was such a productive and inspirational practice that we decided to turn it in into a blog so other designers could benefit from it.
Brock and Gabbert both invite and interact with the contributors, alternating posts every other week. The blog is updated every Monday. Its mission statement reads:
This venue has been created to appreciate the practice of book cover design. This is not a blog to rip apart what we dislike – everyone has a different aesthetic. This is a blog about the challenges and outcomes of a project. We are here to teach and be taught by one another.
Charles Brock elaborates:
Whether or not you like the design is not the point with FaceOut; it’s more about the process, the successes and the failures and overcoming any obstacles. To hopefully learn something or inspire someone is the goal. We have had 37 different covers and designers contribute to the blog, with many great designers in the queue. In two weeks we are planning to launch a new design and layout to the blog, as well as adding a new weekly feature.
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