The art of ebook cover design : An analysation of covers from Amazon kindle and a guideline to avoid the worst of them

University essay from Jönköping University/JTH, Datateknik och informatik

Abstract: Today’s society is becoming more digitalised. Moving traditional printing to screen is becoming the new normal. Since the selection of ebooks is becoming larger and larger the publishers and authors must start thinking about their design to have better prerequisites than their competitors. The focus of this study will be an analysation of the best and worst covers of Amazon Kindle ebook cover design. Today, many self-published authors do not want to spend money on an ebook when they can design it by themselves for free and therefore they lose the impact that a good ebook cover have on the selling. The purpose of this study is to deduct which kind of design principles are more desirable, and how these design principles are presented. The study will contribute with knowledge to designers, both professional and unprofessional, what aspects of a book cover is important to consider to effectively compete for the consumers attention in the market. The research objective is to create a guideline for the creation of an ebook cover, which will create a more desirable product and add to the work flow efficiency. The most valuable currency people have today is time and money, and a design guideline will help those areas and make the process as quick and effortless as possible. Consequently, the purpose of this study will show concrete design principles for popular ebook covers which will help the designer to make wise decisions. To be able to fulfil the purpose, it has been phrased into one main question. What design elements are important to take into consideration when designing an ebook cover? To answer the research question eleven different appropriate applicable design principles have been chosen for analysation. Alignment, archetypes, colour, hierarchy, Horror Vacui, legibility, Ockham’s Razor, Picture Superiority Effect, proximity, Rule of Thirds and similarity. The thesis is based on the worldview constructivism. The term worldview meaning “a basic set of beliefs to guide action”. The constructivist worldview implies a belief where people seek understanding in a world where they live and work. They develop subjective meanings of their experiences which can be directed to certain objects. The thesis uses exploratory sequential mixed method, where the researcher begins with a qualitative research phase and explores the views of the participant. Mixed method is chosen based on the assumption that collecting diverse types of data provides a more complete understanding of the research problem than either quantitative or qualitative data alone. In conclusion, an analysation of covers from Amazon kindle have been made together with a guideline to avoid the worst of them. The guideline uses words and visuals to explain and point out important principles to consider when designing an ebook cover. It has a simplistic clear approach and the purpose of designing the guideline this way was to provide understanding to designers and non-designers alike. Since the sampling of ebooks have been broad, expanding over several genres, the guideline can be applied to ebook covers in general. This study contributes to the existing studies by providing insight into how design principles are applied to ebook covers and which principles are most important to take into consideration when designing an ebook cover.

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