This website recommends novels by making sure you can’t judge a book by its cover

  There’s an old adage that says “don’t judge a book by its cover.” And while that’s usually used metaphorically to discourage making judgements of a person or situation based on initial impressions, there’s no reason why you couldn’t interpret it literally to refer to actually judging works of literature. That’s the idea behind recommendmeabook.com, […]

You can’t judge a book by its cover – if you’re a robot

  Back in September, a report suggested that robots will have eliminated 6% of jobs in the US by 2021. Fortunately for book designers, it doesn’t look as if androids are about to take over cover design any time soon. MIT Technology Review points us towards a new machine-vision algorithm dreamed up by academics at […]

These anti-terrorism posters echo Nazi propaganda

However inadvertently, the designers have used a horribly familiar antisemitic image. The impact goes far beyond these associations, serious as those are. A friend who was unaware of Nazi iconography revealingly said that she saw on the poster an “evil-looking dark-skinned man”. The image plays on people’s fears of “the other”, and creates anxiety about […]

Japan gives Harry Potter the manga treatment

  The Harry Potter franchise continues to enjoy huge success in Japan, 15 years after the release of first movie, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The seven films in the series have grossed more than US$893 in the country and been seen in cinemas by more than 78 million people, while Philosopher’s Stone is […]

How to draw… with charcoal

A great overview in The Guardian of how illustrator PJ Lynch works in charcoals. Made me want to give it a go. From smudging techniques to dramatic use of white chalk, Irish illustrator PJ Lynch has some useful tips on how to make great drawings using charcoal See the full tutorial here – it’s not exhaustive by any […]

Waterstones book of the year is Coralie Bickford-Smith’s debut The Fox and the Star

“I’m all about the physical book,” said Bickford-Smith. “We haven’t released The Fox and the Star as an ebook because I don’t think it would work – it’s all about the paper. I wanted to create something which harked back to the beautiful visual thinking of William Morris and William Blake, so that people would […]

How Jean Jullien’s simple doodle spread around the world

Jullien is a graphic designer originally from Nantes but based in London. It wasn’t particularly an illustrator’s response, he said, “more an instinctive, human reaction”. But the simplicity of his design, rendered in just a few brush strokes, did not diminish its power. In the days since the atrocities, his arresting image, captioned “Peace for […]

Manga rows show why it’s still Japan’s medium of protest

The furores underlined manga’s capacity to attract controversy and provoke debate in Japan, where just about everyone has, at some time, delved into a manga comic, book or weekly magazine serialisation. The books alone generate a domestic market worth 280bn yen (£1.5bn). Mass-market titles such as Doraemon, featuring a robot cat popular with children, and […]

Meet Archie Nolan, the donor-conceived detective

Archie Nolan, the main character, is a science-obsessed schoolboy whose world is turned upside down when his teacher tells his class to research their family tree and report back on what they find. That raises the prospect of him revealing what until now he has kept a secret from his friends: that his mum and […]