John Gall & Book Cover Design

john gall

Book designer John Gall doesn’t need our help moving his portfolio around the web; he happens to be the creator of many iconic book covers and art director at Vintage/Anchor books.  As young designers, we often dream about landing jobs to design book covers, yet with print fading, design work could be fading as well.  So, John, any words of advice?  …check out the interview from design bureau .  A few highlights after the jump…

Please read the full article by Stuart Kuhlo at design bureau … here are some snippets to wet your appetite.

“Gall has overseen the creation of more than 3,000 book covers. But as technology advances threaten to replace printed books with downloadable versions, publishing houses—and the designers who create the book covers—are now standing on the precipice of a potentially industry-shattering shift….

‘It’s all just sweat and inspiration,’ he says of his design process. ‘Well, it’s actually more like sweat plus inspiration plus more sweat (and you can add a little luck in there, too). There’s also the procrastination, mind-reading, plate spinning, heavy drinking and obscenity-laced diatribes, as well.’

Amidst the uncertainty of technology’s impact on his industry, he notes the one thing remains true for all designers: the need to embrace a rapidly changing marketplace.

‘I see design as tied at the hip to technology. Throughout the history of design, new advances in printing, typesetting, and distribution have always led to new design movements. The invention of movable type, the ability to print multiple books, the invention of letterpress printing, lithography, four-color printing, and computers—designers have taken advantage of all of these developments to create exciting work. The new advances in the distribution of the printed word may signal the end of one thing, but may also be an incredible opportunity for the creation of something new.’ “




  • Hiller Goodspeed

    I was wondering who had designed the Wind-up Bird Chronicle. I’ve always been fond of that cover.

  • Matthew

    I would like to be optimistic and think that it’s going to be an opportunity for something fresh… fingers crossed.

Works Cited

Written By:

Shaun Lind


August 31st, 2010