Research a publishing house

“Look at as many variations as you can to see how different publishing houses designed their covers and how the covers fit together as a series. Select a publishing house and describe their design style.”

I had a look at various publishers online, focusing on paperbacks, but I just took a detour into high end photographic publishing, as I have gorgeous  coffee table book called Equine Beauty, which is by this publisher. I think you can see they have a house style – dramatic photography with a pared down look, often with closely cropped images.

teNeues publishing

Heres Harper Collins, I think you can tell by the colouring and fonts that this section is for young people.

harper collins

I have to thank my friend Kirsty for introducing me to  Persephone Books. Its a lovely niche company that produces out or print books, often with vintage inspired covers.


If you squint , you’ll see they produce a range in a lovely grey and off white. Gorgeous! And heres some colourful ones!


I also have this lovely book


The cover image is not photoshopped, all these book were organised in a huge pile and then photographed!

I really like Penguin/Puffin, but as I’ve explored this publisher in a previous post, I chose to look at Bloomsbury in more detail.

I love these contemporary looking covers, they are really punchy! As it says Educational at the top, I’m assuming they are for school. but  far from looking dull, I think they would definately draw teenagers in.



Heres a couple of fiction books again using photography, but this time in full colour.


Lovely covers aimed at children – multi coloured, and a more limited palette.


Adult fiction…


Childrens books, and this great non-fiction series, with a contemporary twist. Again black and white photography with an accent colour, and repeating circular shape.

Bloomsbury7 Bloomsbury8 Bloomsbury9

Bloomsbury10 Bloomsbury11

, Black and white photography is again contrasted with bold  (pink) lettering (see Slaves of New York) which is both hard hitting, dramatic and eye catching. Next to that is a collection of vintage style covers, pared down with monogrammed lettering, and block colour.

bloomsbury14 Bloomsbury15 Bloomsbury16


Its clear book designs come in a lot of styles and can be extremely effective at conveying the tone, and intended audience. By looking at the examples, I can see how the more playful approach shows a lighter tone, as above.

We were asked to comment on the house style… You can see that they publish a wide variety of books, from novels, and childrens books, to a wide range of non-fiction. Obviously there is a great deal of unity when it comes to sets, and the overall feel is relaxed, cool and modern. But the colours, fonts, illustration and photography vary, and do the colours from bright to subdued, depending on the intended audience. So how much you can say Bl.oomsbury have a house style, or simply that they are up to date with currant trends, is open to debate!


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