“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

This phrase is often meant to be a metaphor, however for this post I will assume it has literal meaning.  Judging books by their cover is involuntary.  It is how our brains determine good books from bad ones.  In this competitive economic system, every book competes for the best cover simply because it attracts more consumers and there are many other choices for consumers.  Why does it attract more consumers if the advice that’s always given is to NOT judge a book by its cover?  Images are comprehended faster and easier by the brain than text.  The cover is meant to grab our attention easily and effectively and give an idea of what the book is about.  For example, many copies of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities have a cover that indicates very easily that it is about the French Revolution.  This helps alleviate some of the decision making to pick up a book, as we live in a time full of choice.

Barry Schwartz explains how too much choice influences our state of contentment and how it is better to have less choice.  Our brains need book covers to narrow down the options.  In order for their book to be read, one must put work into a good cover.  People can be viewed through a very similar perspective.

Ted Talk by Chip Kidd on designing book covers:


Posted on November 12, 2013, in RE:Framed and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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