Cover story

The Guardian’s series of webchats with publishing industry insiders has moved into the design world, with Harper Collins creative director Ben North the latest to take the chat hot-seat.

North, whose role includes writing copy, titling books, producing creative strategy, giving cover-art direction and creating advertising, started as a back-cover copywriter at Penguin before becoming a ‘self-taught’ art director.

He says he has now got to the point of his career where he ‘can now work closely with desginers without actually coming to blows’.

Ben North
Ben North

Earier today North took to the Guardian website to provide insight and answer questions from readers such as ‘Is it fair to say that cover design appears increasingly generic?’, ‘How do you avoid ruining a story through the blurb on the back by giving too much away?’ and the classic, ‘Do people really judge books by their covers?’ (North believes not…)

He also revealed how to art-direct an author photo (‘we pay rather less attention to what our authors look like than you’d think’), and how to avoid clichés in back-cover blurb copy.

Questions on the blog are now closed but the archived chat can be found here.

Latest articles