Remember my love of good book cover design? And my love for Neil Gaiman (both the man and his books)?
After waiting several months since the announcement of this book last summer, I finally picked up my copy of Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. My oh my, is this a beautiful book!
First off, can we talk about the intricacy of the designs? And how the hammer is set against a night sky full of stars? The hammer’s metallic look gives it a sense of weight and of age, while the night sky backdrop lends the design a feeling of mystery and, for me, anyway, a sense of beginning. The beginning of the world, perhaps, or maybe just the beginning of a good story. Like Gaiman is saying, ‘It’s dark out. Come and sit by my campfire and I’ll tell you stories to chase your fears away. And if I don’t chase them away, at least you’ll hear of how they can be defeated’.
I don’t know if my photographs do it justice, but all those designs and the lettering are embossed. That, combined with the cover paper’s satin finish, makes the book feel like it’s made of fine metal beaten into wafer-thin layers.
Just holding this book is wonderful.
Even the cover’s spine gets a royal treatment, with black letters embossed against a gold field and a fine white knotwork you might overlook at first glance.
Though there are no pictures between the covers, there are plenty of knotwork designs interspersed throughout the book, such as this one:
A lot of time, attention, and love has gone into this book’s design and I am thankful for it. Though I’m not opposed to e-books, simply holding a book crafted as thoughtfully and as beautifully as this one adds to the experience of reading. I think that if more physical books were designed with as much care and detail as Norse Mythology, people would be more inclined to buy physical copies of books instead of their digital counterparts.
Note: The cover design was done by Chris Welch Design.
Now that I’ve waxed on about the cover design for Norse Mythology, I think it might be interesting to write more posts about book cover designs. Though I have an art degree I’m not a designer by any means, so I wouldn’t be able to break down symbolism or design styles or eras or anything of the sort. I’d just be gushing about covers that make my bookish, artistic little heart go, “squeee!”.
So what do you all think? Would you be interested in reading about my thoughts on the various book covers I come across?