Designing a book cover is an exercise in balance. The image or graphic has to distill the story without giving away the plot. It has to create “shelf presence” to entice shoppers to pick up the book for a closer look. It has to avoid false advertising, but can’t be boring, even if the content is. It should give shoppers a sense of the genre – suspense, sci-fi, romance, self-help, current events – but imply that the author has a unique and fascinating take on the subject. While it is true that “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” it is also true that you can design a cover that makes shoppers want to buy the book. This video from Random House features interviews with book designers from its publishing groups (Random House, Knopf Doubleday and Crown) providing insights into the complex process of creating compelling, eye-catching and meaningful book cover jackets.
We are not sure where the nautical theme originated, but the anchor that serves as an ampersand in the John & John logo implies that there is some sailing connection. This may have inspired The Peter Schmidt Group in Hamburg to design packaging that subtly suggests the geometric shapes of maritime flags. The handcooked potato chips are made in the UK and imported to Germany by Hamburg-based Market Grounds. Each chip flavor is identified by a bold black number, so that even if German consumers can’t recall which flavor they like, they can recognize it by number. The prominent numbers also serve to brand the entire John & John potato chip line, giving the brand greater store shelf presence. They also make it easy for customers to see when another flavor has been added – just look for a new number.