Like a lot of things, the “point” grab wasn’t noticeable at first.
Sure, you’ll see the point here and there, but you haven’t given much thought to it. At the time, she didn’t even know he had a name. As long as the point continued in her own business, I was happy to let her do her work.
And then, one day, I looked up, and suddenly the dot was all over the place.
Dot is the term used to describe the current trend in book cover design, Described by RE Hawley in the print magazine Like “a canvas filled with amorphous ornaments of warm and bright colors, crisscrossing each other to form different colors in the intervening spaces.”
I’ve seen the point in books like “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle, “Detransition, Baby” by Torrey Peters, and “Such a Fun Age” by Kelly Reed.
Looking at Reese’s Book Club and Read with Jenna’s select book lists, at least a third or more of the covers are blob or clearly influenced.
I wonder if the book designers of the world are getting frustrated with this trend. I can only imagine an editor conveying his vision for the cover, “You can do anything you want, surprise me…but also, make sure it’s a bubble.”
The blob style is a dominant style in newly published books, but I was prompted to express my concerns on the point when I recently searched online for the publication year of Geraldine Brooks’ novel, “March,” and saw that the cover had been retroactively removed.
In fact, all of Brooks’ backlist titles have been omitted, using colors from the end of the color wheel, let’s say, brighter.
As Hawley notes, there is nothing inherently bad about book covers that use point, and in fact, some of them are very clever at combining shapes and colors to create images that are not visible at first glance. An example is Charmaine Wilkerson’s “Black Cake” in which a woman’s face is hidden between the dot.
The updated cover for “March” is actually an abstract graphic of a cotton plant in the foreground, set against the sky. she is very beautiful.
But I can’t help but think something is lost on point.
The paperback of “March” I own is illustrated with what looks like a hand-stitched diary or memory book, presumably belonging to the titular character, “Mr. Mars,” the absent father from Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women”, who leaves his family behind to serve as chaplain in an army the Union.
The original cover evokes the living person of Mr. Marsh and the sense of the novel, a mixture of gloom and hope. The bulleted version makes it look like any other book.
And that’s actually the point of the point. Point has an obvious positive side when it comes to being noticed in small sized images on social media. Having come across the point several times before, readers are primed to learn what the point signifies. Known as the Book Club, these books are mostly aimed at women because women buy and read the vast majority of books.
As Hawley also notes, book covers often go through cycles of trend, with Flat illustration. (think Sophie Kinsella books or the original cover of “Where’d You Go Bernadette”) are the look of the 2000s, so we shouldn’t get stuck with the point forever.
I’m sure I hope not. or not.
Personally, I love it when the cover of a book is just as surprising to me as anything inside.
John Warner is the author of Why They Can’t Write: Killing the Five Paragraph Essay and Other Essentials.
Book recommendations from Biblioracle
John Warner tells you what to read based on the last five books you’ve read
1. “The Nest” by Cynthia Dabrix Sweeney
2. “House of the Spirits” by Isabel Allende
3. “The American Cartel: Inside the Battle to Undermine the Opiate Industry” by Scott Higham and Sari Horowitz
4. “Wait for your reply” by Dan Chun
5. “The Director” by David Ignatius
– Dan H. Chicago
Given the range on this list, I have to give Dan a good book and he will love it. I’m looking at a shelf of good books in my home office, doing eeny, meeny, miny, moe and landing on “The World Without You” by Joshua Henken.
1. “Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk” by Kathleen Rooney
2. “The Lager Queen of Minnesota” by J. Ryan Stradal
3. “Cloud Cuckoo Land” by Anthony Doerr
4. “Trees” by Percival Everett
5. “Nightingale” by Kristen Hannah
– Susan B. Glenn Ellen
I think Susan would enjoy the combination of warmth and sharp wit of Barbara Beam, perhaps in her most famous book, The Excellent Woman.
1. “Lincoln Highway” by Omar Tools
2. “Cloud Cuckoo Land” by Anthony Doerr
3. “The Committed” Written by Viet Thanh Nguyen
4. “Dopesick” by Beth Macy
5. “The Good Father” by Noah Holly
– Benjamin T. Chicago
I think Benjamin is a good candidate for Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brody series, which begins with Case History.
Get a reading from the Bible
Submit a list of the last five books you’ve read and your hometown email@example.com.