This week on the blog, we have a guest post from graphic artist and illustrator León Bojalil (thank you!), who explains the importance of hiring a graphic artist or illustrator to design your book cover!

There is a neurological phenomenon called “Synesthesia.” Without entering into details, it refers to the stimulation of one physical sense leading to a sensory experience with another one, meaning if you hear music you might see colors, if you touch something you could taste a flavour, or if you see something you probably smell some scent. This human physiology phenomenon always brings to my attention what other sensations someone might feel when observing some of my illustrations.

This ability to perceive more with our senses means that within one type of stimuli targeted to one of our senses there could be more ways to enjoy and understand what is presented to us. This could be translated to the graphic arts industry as the capacity to say more than words with only one picture.

As Illustrators and Graphics Artists, we carry a huge responsibility when working with creators of written content—we need to translate everything the writer wants to communicate into images. It´s a big weight on our shoulders, and knowing that the artwork of any publication is the first impression anyone will have with a book, catalog, or magazine could get overwhelming.

We need to always remember the fact that most readers decide whether or not to buy a book based solely on its cover. There is too much noise in any bookstore, pushing the artist to figure out a way to make sure the book will stand above the rest, requiring a high level of both mental and practical knowledge to do it right.

Being able to express everything within the pages of any written content with a book cover, either a bestseller or a driver’s manual, has the same level of importance. This is how people will see and feel it before delving into the fantasy world, murder mystery, or romance drama they will find inside. It´s the bait to lure curious eyes and catch them, stimulate their curiosity long enough to take the book home.

Most of the time, when someone is an independent writer, one of the main issues is the budget, and that is understandable. They don’t have the support of a big company behind them for issues such as the editorial design or the book cover. They are independent, and in the graphic community we get that, no matter if we are freelancers or part of a creative team. The understanding and respect for both sides should be bilateral. As illustrators and graphic designers, we need to understand the importance of all the hard work invested in months or even years to finish any written content, and as such, the authors should know the importance of a cover as a graphic translation of all their content to be able to create a unified product.

A cover will always represent the work of a writer standing out from the rest. It’s the first line of defense, it’s what people will display at home on their bookshelves proudly for having read it. So yeah, having someone professional who knows and respects the work of an author will always be the best choice to give them the responsibility to create the image of a book.

Any writer, independent or not, should take their time to look for a graphic artist or illustrator that suits the genre and style of the publication. There will be many different costs depending on who the writer finds, but it´s a justified cost. Authors should trust in someone that knows the responsibility to create a graphic solution that will represent the hard work implied in any written content. I can’t deny the possibility of bad experiences along the way, but I can assure you that if an author trusts in the work of an illustrator, respects it, and most of all understands the responsibility we as illustrators have to represent in the best way we can the written content, the finished product will be worthwhile. The cost, I can assure you, will be justified.

Some say every mind is a different world, I say: Every mind is a different UNIVERSE.


If you want to read more of León’s blog posts and see his illustration work, you can check him out at the following links!