‘Never judge a book by its cover’

You will have definitely heard of this statement before. It really is true, a book should be judged from the way it is written but the cover on that book can dance out at you and persuade your judgement ever so slightly. A well-designed cover will catch your eye as you skim through those many bookshelves in your local bookshop or library. One designer behind front cover design is a charming man called David Pearson, a name that I’m sure you would have heard of. Having worked with Penguin over his present career he has created many book covers to encase books, ranging from Dracula to Treasure Island. With a busy schedule of creating covers I take some time to speak to David about his career and inspirations.

Nicola Manuel: Describe yourself in three words…

David Pearson: Affable (I hope), dedicated and decisive.


NM: What is your dream book to design a front cover for?

DP: Watership Down.


NM: When you receive a request for a front cover what are you first thoughts into the creation of pursuit?

DP: Provided the book is actually written (quite often, it is not), I would read that and then I usually embark on a lengthy research process. This can take anywhere between 50% and 90% of the overall schedule but it is rare that I regret this part of the process, especially since typophiles can be such an unforgiving bunch! I most often use St Bride Library (off Fleet Street) to help fuel my fires. For a designer specifying in typographic covers, there’s no better resource in the World.


NM: Do you have any other secret passions besides designing?

DP: My other big passion, besides music, is football. Non-league football to be precise. Over the course of my life, my team (Grimsby Town) has slid so far down the leagues that just two more relegations would mean my life-long dream of playing for them could become a reality. Fingers crossed.


NM: If you were to choose a main course to represent your book design, what would this be?

DP: Type as image.


NM: Who are you main inspirations?

DP: Jan Tschichold, David Byrne, the Coen Brothers, Ricky Gervais, to name just a few.


NM: What are your three main elements within your work that you tend to follow?

DP: Limited palette, colour separations, don’t give away all the answers.

If you love the look of these covers and want to see more of David’s work then just click here. There’s a wide selection of his book covers to have a browse through as well as contact, about and press to find out a little more about this wonderful designer.


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