Things publishers say to book designers

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Question: What does one do with this collection of cover design briefs amassed over a period of 2 years?

Answer: Extract words and phrases that repeat themselves over and over again and turn them into collages using old-school cut and paste! No computers, no Google Images — just these four magazines that were destined for the bin, this beautiful European paper sample book (to represent all the things that aren’t allowed in educational publishing),  a stick of glue and a pair of scissors.

Things publishers say to book designers


Let’s go with what we’ve already done before.

Previous edition02 Previous edition04 Previous edition03 Previous edition01


We don’t have a budget.

Budget02 Budget03


The market is conservative.

Conservative02 Conservative03 Conservative01


The cover needs to look contemporary.

Contemporary02 Contemporary03 Contemporary01


It needs to be accessible.



It needs to look fresh and clean.



It needs to look positive and engaging.

Positive and engaging01


It shouldn’t look too Australian.

Australian01 Australian02


Avoid anything that looks too similar to the competition.

Competition01 Competition03 Competition02



Huh01 Huh02 Huh03


Last but not least and also my personal favourite: We don’t really need you unless there are pretty pictures involved.

Pretty picture


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