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BRAND BIBLE228
(Text)


I’m known for book design, but I would certainly like
to do more. I’m capable of more than just that.

No. The approach I take with my work doesn’t really
lend itself to building a brand because each project
has its own character and issues that can’t have a
brand ID placed on them. Finding a style and saying,
This is the look or palette I want to carry out on the
next dozen projects,” would not work in the projects
and clients my studio works with.
Creating culture, one
book at a time
19
How to Brand
a Book

Rodrigo Corral
Rodrigo Corral
Design
Creative Director,
Farrar, Straus
& Giroux
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229
(Text)

It plays a part in every cover. Once it has been handed
to the marketing department, they take the imagery
you craft and borrow elements for use in advertise-
ments and promotion. Whether its in a three-by-
three-inch ad space in The New Yorker or a full-page
ad in the Sunday Book Review, thats the measure of
the importance of branding in book design: being able
to take the cover you designed and chop it up into
smaller pieces to use as a selling tool.


The writing and the reviews. The book itself has to
be well-written and the design has to translate that
for the reader, making sure it is genuine and clear in
its message. The more attention a book can garner for
its literary merits, the more you will see the cover,
and thats when a cover becomes important. If a book
has gone on to sell very well, designers automatically
start to look at the cover as successful. I think its just
a lucky coincidence. When I think about A Million
Little Pieces, which I designed, I am so excited that
that cover was for a best-selling book, but I would
not say that cover played any part in it becoming a
best seller.


From the perspective of an author, publisher,
and agent, I think they feel that the designer isn’t
really thinking about the life of the book—about
what will happen to the book once its published. I
think designers are more invested in the process of
coming up with a great solution for these concerns
than the publishers give them credit for.
From the perspective of the designer, I think there’s
a feeling that publishers don’t understand the
process well. Theres a feeling that publishers and
designers speak dierent languages. Its denitely
arranged so that when you go into a meeting with
the publisher and the editors to talk about the cover,

 
A selection of book
covers by Rodrigo
Corral Design
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