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Design For Meaning: Creating Effective and Artistic Book Cover Designs

Peter Mendelsund, Associate Art Director at Alfred A. Knopf

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9 Videos (1h 2m)
    • Introduction

    • Identifying the Goals

    • Reading as a Designer

    • Turning Narrative into Design

    • Sketching Ideas

    • Considering Audience, Medium, and Examples

    • Designing the Cover

    • Troubleshooting: Ideas and Alternatives

    • Conclusion


About This Class

It's not just what design looks like, but what it says. In this 66-minute class, acclaimed cover designer Peter Mendelsund shares his process for creating a book jacket that conveys the author's vision, sells the book, and pushes you as an artist.

Learn how to read as a graphic designer, iterate with imagination, and break the "rules" to make your message stand out. Nine video lessons follow Peter as he designs a Skillshare-exclusive cover for Wordsworth's "I Wandered as a Cloud," and a detailed project guide helps you create a cover of your own.

This smart, inspiring class is a must-take for graphic designers, illustrators, and everyone who loves to hold a book in their hands.

379 of 381 students recommendSee All

Amazing class, very complete. Love that clever approach and way to share knowledge.
Solene Bourreau

Graphic designer

That was GREAT!!! Do MORE!!
Such a wealth of knowledge to take with, for an aspiring book designer. Peter Mendelsund is a generous instructor. I know I'll be coming back to this video over and over again when designing book covers until all this information gets anchored into my mind and becomes a part of my recipe. Thank you for making this available.
Najma P.

Aspiring Book Designer





Peter Mendelsund

Associate Art Director at Alfred A. Knopf

Peter Mendelsund is the associate art director of Alfred A. Knopf Books, the art director of Pantheon Books, and a recovering classical pianist. He has been called "the force behind some of today's most recognizable book covers" by The New Yorker, and his designs have been described as "the most instantly recognizable and iconic book covers in contemporary fiction" by The Wall Street Journal.

Among his most celebrated jackets are those for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; collections o...

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