I wanted to write a post about Sunday’s episode of Mad Men–how we saw the return of some great characters; how Don continues a lonely, downward spiral; how Bobby’s lines rival those of Roger Sterling–but due to some monumental computer problems and a day of travel, I fell behind. Now, I think it’s a little untimely to do it, but I will have one on Monday–this week’s episode promises to be another great one.
In the meantime, I’ll just post a link to this great interview with book design legend, John Gall, over at Design Bureau today. Even if you’re not a designer, if you’ve ever set foot in a bookstore, you’re probably familiar with Gall’s work.; he’s responsible for some of the best book covers of the last decade. Recently, he amassed a collective of some of the industry’s best designers and reimagined the entire catalog of Vladimir Nabakov. You can see them, along with a bunch of other really great stuff, on his blog, Spine Out.
In his Design Bureau interview, Gall talks about the future of book design. “Everything is in flux at the moment. I originally thought I had five years left doing this, now I think it’s more like five months,” he says, half-jokingly. I’ve heard similar statements before, and I’ve heard the opposite–that, despite this digital boom and the ever-shrinking sales of physical books, cover design will never see its end. To me, even the fact that this debate is going on is frightening. I’m relatively new to this industry, having only done book design professionally for the past four years, and I’d really love to the chance to move from small presses to bigger ones for more exposure and more money. I guess my question is this: if book sales are down and about to head the way of the dinosaurs, are there going to be any opportunities? I’m wondering if I should move out of book design altogether in order to find a little security, or cross my fingers and hope that actual books continue to live. Either way, I love reading interviews with people like Gall. Even when they ask scary questions, they always inspire me to be a better designer, wherever I end up.