The Atlantic notices book jackets are starting to look alike, possibly in reaction to the rise of e-readers.
Personally, we like the trend of hand-lettered typography. It shows the designer created something that can’t be easily replicated elsewhere.
What do you think, Tumblr? Yay or nay?
The use of hand-lettered typography makes the participation of the book title in the visual effect of the book jacket more conspicuous. As a child, I couldn’t have agreed more with the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” But as an adult, I sometimes write a thousand words, for an long email.
However, the expressive capability of images can only go so far. After a certain point, no amount of visual design of the book jacket - either in its illustration or in its typography - can adequately capture or convey the “brand” of the story within. We have to trust that the words alone will be able to carry their weight. We have to let the words speak for themselves.
Hand-lettered typography attempts to define, through visuals, the “personality” of the literature. This should really be left to each reader’s own imaginative discretion. Just as film adaptations of novels are to the contents and characters of these novels, so is the book jacket designs to the titles of the books. Not only does this trend close off, but also often clashes, with the individual visualizations of their readers.
Novels have about them a kind of quiet dignity. They only whisper (even when the characters are shouting or screaming in the text) their stories to use if we take the time to sit down with them. An overwrought cover with hand-lettered fronts conflicts with the solitary, understated, and magical endeavor of reconstructing the human experience, one word at a time.