#ArmchairBEA Day 2: Aesthetics

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…or in my case, lack thereof. Today’s Armchair BEA discussion is about aesthetics in two different senses of the term.

The Books: How often do you judge a book by its cover? How often are you surprised by what you find? Do you strategize and make sure every book in your series has the same cover design (as far as you are able to) and type? How important is it for the visual art on the outside of the book to match or coordinate with the literature art on the inside?

If I said that I don’t judge books by their covers, I would be lying.  There’s something about a tattered yellowed mass-market paperback found in a hidden corner of a used bookstore that just makes me want to bring it home and add it to my shelves, particularly if the cover art is your stereotypical old-school sci-fi/fantasy look.  And I’ve got a weakness for Frank Frazetta, and have three giant posters of his cover artwork hanging above my bed.  It’s an aesthetic that I enjoy.

Looks don’t mean everything to me though, enticing though they may be.  When I’m reading a series, I don’t even stick to the same format; sometimes I’ll have a paperback of book one and then binge-read the rest on my Kindle, and I’m prone to mix and match covers based on what’s cheapest.  I do a lot of reading in the bathtub, so I’m kinda like “Eh, it might get splashed, whatevs.”

The Blog: As a book blogger, in whatever form that takes, branding is important. Your colors, your fonts, your style of review, all of these things come together to make the “brand” of your blog – something that makes your reviews and posts and websites, all your various content, immediately recognizable to the people looking for you. What do you do to create a brand on your site? Do you think about these things?

Ah, branding.  Otherwise known as “one of those things I really should do more carefully, but don’t do because it takes time and effort that I could be using for reading.”  I’m jealous of a lot of the themes and designs that I see on other blogs.  I’ve got a very flexible theme here, but my follow-through always feels somewhat haphazard.  I know that I’ve come a long way since my early blogging days, but it’s still not the best.  One of the things I always have a hard time with is my desire to keep the aesthetics at least somewhat gender-neutral without looking too sterile.

Comments make me happy! Please feel free to leave a reply.

6 comments

  1. I think your blog looks fab! I really like that you’ve gone for a more gender-neutral look and I definitely don’t think it looks sterile. Great job!

    Haha, I know what you mean about reading in the bath… my husband does that and I’m always worried about him getting my beautiful books wet! Maybe I’ll have to start getting him bath tub friendly editions. 😀

    Enjoy Day Two!

    1. I’ll even admit that there have been one or two times that I put my Kindle in a plastic bag and took that to the bath, but with a Kindle I’m a lot more nervous, because electronics and water really shouldn’t mix. 🙂

  2. I like what you’ve done with your theme. It’s got some unusual patterns and color schemes, which is nice – I confess to getting tired of all the pastel watercolor calligraphy out there. I hadn’t thought of it as being gender-neutral, but I think it works well for that. Not sterile at all!

    1. Thank you! I feel the same about the pastel watercolor–the first few times I saw it, I was really excited, and then after that it all kinda started blending together.

  3. You’re so brave to read in the bathtub. I have butterfingers, things just sort of leap out of my hands all the time, so it would not be a good idea for me to do this. I think branding is just a constant process and we learn on the job, so to speak. I really like your banner and background, it has a nice vintage feel that I find very pleasing.

    1. I’m always aware of the fact that I might drop something, but I’m much more likely to accidentally splash it. But the nice thing about paper is that it dries. 🙂