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Wake Forest
University Press

Wake Forest University Press

Dedicated to Irish Poetry

Wake: Up to Poetry

"The act of poetry is a rebel act."

Interns’ Corner: The Power of Cover Art and the Process of Making It

Last week at “Words Awake!”, one of our interns had the opportunity to attend a talk on the power of cover art. The central issue of the talk was the dichotomy between the age old expression “you can’t judge a book by its cover” and the reality that the cover is ultimately what makes books sell. This topic hits close to home at the Press as we ourselves are in the process of choosing the best cover design for Harry Clifton’s “The Winter Sleep of Captain Lemass.” While we can’t share the prospective designs with you today, we interns thought it might be fun to let you know what role we play in choosing each design. Overall, our role is fairly simple, but nonetheless, it’s still one of the most exciting tasks here. Several weeks before each new collection is published, our boss leaves three potential cover designs on the wall next to the office door, making it the first thing you see when you walk in for the day and the last thing you see before you leave. After meditating on these designs for several weeks, each intern votes on the cover he/she prefers and explains his/her decision to our boss. Sometimes, the differences between each cover are striking. Other times, you may have to really have to squint to find them. For example, right now, we have two covers that are fairly similar in design. They share the same background, the same color accents, and overall, the same composition. Their only differences lie in their presentations of the title and its font. However, apart from these designs is a third cover with a different composition all together. On the third cover, the accent color that was used to frame the other designs dominates the bottom half of the cover while the background image that is featured on all three designs resides on the top half. As of right now, Elizabeth and I really like this cover the most, but ultimately, the final decision lies in the hands of our boss, our director, and most importantly, the poet.

– Posted by Gigi, Kelly, and Elizabeth


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