Monday, October 17, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Judging a book by its cover

We've all heard the adage "don't judge a book by its cover". For those of you who haven't (have you grown up under a rock?) it's advocating judgment based on content merit, not aesthetic appeal. I understand that and often tell my students to keep this in mind when passing out copies of Catcher in the Rye, which they find entirely unappealing visually. The way a book looks does not correlate to how well it should be received creatively. 

However, one of my favourite aspects of literature and books in general is cover design. I'm a person who loves pretty things after all. When I walk into a book store, the books I'm drawn to have interesting, beautifully designed covers that catch my attention.  It's from this that I pick up the book and peruse the back cover to see what it's actually about. If the cover is boring, nothing in my mind entices me to stretch out my hand to pick up the book. For example: I recently purchased a copy of Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy but picked up the copy that looked like the cover to the left instead of the one on the right. I was drawn to the splash of colour, the photograph and the combination of different font faces. The other cover had dull colours and a painting which I did not connect with. For me, Anna Karenina is a tome. It will take me ages to read, but I want to accomplish this soon. If I have a copy of the book with a cover that appeals to me, I'm more likely to keep it close, and both see and think of it often, leading me to pick up and finish the book more quickly. Does anyone else look at cover design in that manner?

So this is my dilemma: in a world where aesthetic appeal drives the creation of the design of books, can we still honestly say we don't judge a book by its cover? If one aspect of our  buying decision is based on the appeal of its cover, we are making a judgment of some sort.

Another great example of modern cover design enhances the appeal of a novel is the new Penguin Essentials collection which I saw on Penguin UK's website. The novels in this collection are some of the twentieth-century’s most important books. When they were first published they changed the way we thought about literature and about life. And they have remained vital reading ever since. 

What is there not to love about this collection? The designs are unique and capture the essence of the heart of the book. The colours pop. And I want to be seen reading these in public (I really told you I was a hipster, didn't I?) 
So my question stands as this: what do you think about the phrase "Don't judge a book by its cover?"  How do you decide what book to purchase or what to leave on the shelf? It's an interesting debate.

Friday, October 14, 2011

White country inspired offices

Modern Offices

Does anyone else scour the internet for pictures of home office's for inspiration? I do it constantly. I dream of having a space like one of these where I can feel productive, organized and relaxed. I guess I'll have to wait until I have my own house to achieve this though. For now, I turn to pictures to keep my dream alive. What do you think of these rooms? Too cluttered? Or do you prefer a different style? 

Which one is your favourite?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Want a cupcake?

I've been constantly honing my cupcake baking skills over the past year or so. It's always been a love of mine, but its become a passion lately. I've been collecting sprinkles, cute baking cups and icing colours. I bought a new Kitchen-Aid mixer. Here's a collection of a few cupcake designs I've done. Stay tuned for Halloween themed cupcakes in the next week or two.
Just looking at these pictures make my mouth water. 

I dream of desserts

Don't these pictures just make your mouth water? In my perfect world, I'd only eat desserts.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Reading Nooks I Covet

These lovely reading nooks put my own to shame. I'm especially in love with the one on top.