The beautiful books of Hodder
By Bridie Wilkinson
01 Mar 2016
There are many perks to working in a design department. Mainly, I spend a lot of my time looking at really beautiful things. While my co-workers aren't a bad looking bunch, the beauty mainly comes from the covers that our designers create every month.
I was once told a vague statistic that the Hodder Art department produces 900 covers a year. Somehow, within this number, each cover manages to look unique.
Here are a few of my favourites, new and old, and a little explanation as to why!
The Butcher's Hook
You're probably familiar with this cyan wonder. It's been all over our twitters and instagrams, with the print, created by Timorous Beasties, now adorning pillows, bookmarks and fans. The detailed drawings make it all the more interesting – if you've read the book, the scenes on the cover start to make a lot more sense…
Whether animated or motionless, this haunting illustration by Leo Nickolls, designed by Anna Woodbine, continues to catch my attention every time I walk past it on our shelves. I love how it creates such a strong sense of the story in one enclosed image. And how could I not mention that creepy face in the clouds?
The Inner Fix
A part of our department that deserves the highest praise is our Picture Research team, who spend hours finding the perfect image for hundreds of our books. I think this cover is a good example of their keen, image selecting skills – the photograph of the woman draws you in instantly and tells the viewer exactly what the vibe of this book is going to be.
The Chimes is a personal favourite of mine, as it was one of the first covers that I saw being developed when I started with Hodder. Designed by Anna Woodbine and illustrated by Rich Gemmell, this book is absolutely stunning. An image doesn't really show how beautiful the finish package actually is – on this one, extra birds and lyrics have been blind-spotted on the cover, giving the overall design extra depth. The work on this book showed me how creative and magic book design could be, and when Anna came to designing the equally as pretty paperback version, she had to deal with a lot of dreamy stares from me at her screen.
Just get a load of that die-cut. A lot of innovation and effort from our Production team and our designer, Ben Summers, to create a book cover that is practically iconic. And there's nothing like being able to put your hand through a Q.